February 23, 2010

Stunner: Canadian Premier Who Had U.S. Surgery "My heart, my choice"

The Canadian Premier of the province of Newfoundland, Danny Williams, in defending his trip to Miami for routine heart surgery has basically summed up the two biggest problems with Canadian 'free' health care. Americans should take notice of what he said, and be concerned about the Democrats' false agenda on health care.

Williams was quoted as saying "This was my heart, my choice and my health."
"I did not sign away my right to get the best possible health care for myself when I entered politics."
The Best Possible Health Care? In the United States? Wait, what? Canada's free health care isn't on par with U.S. health care? Is it possible that by increasing the availability to health care only increases overall demand without increasing the supply of doctors? Is it possible that in order to contain costs in a free health care universe that doctor compensations have to be limited and doctor supply is actually decreased? And is it possible that increased demand and decreased supply mean increased wait times? And could it even mean rationing of health care? Apparently so.
He said he was told at the time that the problem was "moderate" and that he should come back for a checkup in six months.

Eight months later, in December, his doctors told him the problem had become severe and urged him to get his valve repaired immediately or risk heart failure, he said.

His doctors in Canada presented him with two options - a full or partial sternotomy, both of which would've required breaking bones, he said.

He said he spoke with and provided his medical information to a leading cardiac surgeon in New Jersey who is also from Newfoundland and Labrador. He advised him to seek treatment at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami.

That's where he was treated by Dr. Joseph Lamelas, a cardiac surgeon who has performed more than 8,000 open-heart surgeries.

Williams said Lamelas made an incision under his arm that didn't require any bone breakage.
 That seems pretty convincing to me - he was told there was no rush (rationing) and when he was critical they recommended a less than optimal treatment. Why? Regardless of whether better technology was available or the doctors weren't up-to-par, clearly some sort of shortage (knowledge or facilities) was in play.

Another Williams quote reinforced the shortage issue;
"I would've been criticized if I had stayed in Canada and had been perceived as jumping a line or a wait list. ... I accept that. That's public life," he said.
Jumping the line is a political decision. But the fact that there was a line, despite his apparently urgent condition, and despite free health care is very telling.

In summary: The two biggest problems on free health care in Canada are (1) The best health care, according to a Canadian provincial premier, is in the U.S. and (2) the line ups in Canada make it difficult to get the health care you need, when you need it, despite being 'free'.
Does that sound like a good deal to you? Apparently it still does to President Obama.


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