Canadian legislator Bob Rae writes:
Watching the debate in the U.S. about health care has been a fascinating, if depressing, experience. In particular, the fact that a Canadian woman has played into the hands of the Republican lobby because of her understandable anxiety about her medical condition doesn't make me mad; it just makes me sad.
Shona Holmes is a Canadian insured by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan. She says she was made to wait months to get a diagnosis for her benign tumour. Once she was diagnosed, she wanted an operation right away, so went to the States for the procedure. Now she wants OHIP to pay for the cost of her U.S. treatment, which she paid for out of her own pocket. She has a public insurer, and wants a refund on her private treatment, which she decided had to happen right away.
But the trouble is that the people on whose behalf she's made the ad don't want to have a public insurer; they want to maintain a system where over 40 million people don't have coverage at all.
How many millions of Americans go untreated, undiagnosed because of their current system? How many are turned down by their insurance companies? How many Americans have gone bankrupt because of uninsured medical costs?
The ad Ms. Holmes appears in says Canadians are denied care because "the government says patients aren't worth it." So private insurance companies that routinely deny treatment and coverage in the U.S. are Good Samaritans? I think not.
Read his entire column.