…every other advanced country

Amy Ridenour at National Center blog has posted a couple of interesting thoughts (here and here) on health care in the last 2 days. In one case, she noted the disingenuity (or simple ignorance) displayed by New York Times fifth-columnist Paul Krugman, pointing out that if (as Krugman states), “…every other advanced country somehow manages to provide all its citizens with essential care”, that Canada is necessarily included. Taking Krugman at his word, she provides some evidence that he is unaware of the meaning of the word “essential,”

Krugman could try telling that to the 50 Canadians who once lived in southern Ontario and were on a waiting list to receive a cardiac catheterization, but they are now dead. Maybe he could tell it to the 59 other Canadians on that waiting list who suffered a serious heart attack.

This is only scratching the surface as TOC has noted in previous posts. (See the end of this post for a partial list.)

I wrote, in an email Amy was kind enough to append to her post that,

Actually, Canada is but one example.

Mr. Krugman apparently has overlooked the fine health care provided to Fidel Castro. Fidel has to have received the finest free health care available. Imagine how well this works for the common man in Cuba. Of course, this would not be any big deal except for the refrain we hear from the far left about how good health care is in Cuba.

I was thinking of this earlier today when I read,

A new study shows a double standard between the full coverage drug plans that politicians and bureaucrats enjoy and the partial coverage that is given to Canadians under public plans.

CARP, Canada’s Association for the Fifty Plus, commissioned the study which compared prescription drug plans of elected and public officials to public drug plans in British Columbia and Ontario and those managed by the federal government for aboriginals, veterans and soldiers.

Canada’s politicians are not different from our own in regard to providing themselves with benefits that far exceed those available to ordinary citizens, but in a country where uttering “two-tier health care system” can get you genteely lynched, this is quite a story.

I will need to explain “two-tier health care system.” In Canada, outside the Province of Quebec, it is illegal for health care to be offered except through the government. This is not so strictly enforced as the more statist breed of Canadian would like, but it is the law. It’s why many Canadians come to the US for care when they cannot get it at home.

Two-tier health care is a form of national health care system that is used in most developed countries. It is a system in which a guaranteed public health care system exists, but where a private system operates in parallel. The private system has the benefit of shorter waiting times and more luxurious treatment, but costs far more than the public one for patients. Thus there are two tiers of health care, one for the public at large and another for those who can afford to pay for better care. Most advanced countries in the world have two-tier primary health care to varying degrees, except for Canada outside Quebec where officially, but not in practice, it is illegal.

In Quebec, because of interminable waiting times for treatment, the “one-tier” concept has been declared unconstitutional.

The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) and the Canadian Orthopaedic Association (COA) stated today that the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in the landmark Chaoulli/Zeliotis case represents a stinging indictment of the failure of governments to respond to the mountains of studies and years of research with real action for our health care system.

“In essence, the Court has agreed with (the CMA/COA’s) fundamental position that Canadians have the right to timely access to health services,” said Dr. Albert Schumacher, President of the CMA. “They have gone as far as ruling that prohibiting patients from using private financing and private insurance where wait times are excessive, at least under the Quebec Charter, is unconstitutional.”

“One thing that is certain is that we physicians will continue to put our patients first,” said Dr. Schumacher. “I took an oath to do my best for my patients – as did all my fellow doctors – and that will not change just because our national health insurance program now faces important changes.”

The Supreme Court struck down a Quebec prohibition that banned the use of private health insurance to provide medically necessary services. Although the ruling applies only in Quebec, since the prohibition was found to violate Quebec’s Charter of Human Rights and Freedoms, it could open the door to similar litigation in other provinces.

Previous TOC posts on Canada’s health care system.

Saturday, December 23, 2006
Lessons from Canada

Friday, December 15, 200
Socialized health care choices

Wednesday, November 22, 2006
Previewing Hillarycare

Wednesday, May 17, 2006
Socialist health care

Friday, May 05, 2006
Free health care

Wednesday, April 26, 2006
The cost of free health care

Saturday, April 22, 2006
Universal Health Care Update

Thursday, April 20, 2006
Universal Health Care

Friday, January 13, 2006
Things we can learn from Canada

Wednesday, March 15, 2006
Social Change in the United States: A Canadian anal -ysis

Thursday, August 18, 2005
Ob-Gyns with 10 Month Waiting Lists

Thursday, July 14, 2005
You don’t always get what you pay for

Monday, July 11, 2005
Brave New World meets Animal Farm

Thursday, June 30, 2005
Medicine Cabinet Minister

Friday, June 17, 2005
45 Million Myths Continued

Thursday, June 16, 2005
45 Million Myths

Monday, April 04, 2005
Canadian Health Care. You’ll Get Old Just Waiting.

This is what Hillarycare would bring here.