Update: Welcome to all of our American friends arriving from Firedoglake, Stratosphere and Political Carnival.....By all means have a gander at what I've written below about one of the Wizards Of Wingnuttia's latest shills...But for a deep, fair, and truly balanced look at all that's mostly good about about the Canadian Healthcare system, written by someone who now lives in the States, please check this out as well.
You've probably seen her all over the TeeVee, both on the cable News and in all those shrill shill ads, proclaiming how she was denied speedy care for her brain tumor in Canada which forced her south for a $97,000 surgery at the Mayo Clinic.
But here's the real thing, Ms. Holmes did not have a malignant brain tumor.
Instead, she had a benign condition called 'Rathke's cleft' which is a self-contained cyst that does not spread. Therefore, speed is not of the essence, as it would be in, say, a case of malignant glioma that does rapidly spread. In fact, most of those cysts are embryological remmants (ie. they form while the baby is still developing in utero and hang around for the person's entire life). Thus, they are often treated conservatively unless secondary symptoms arise (ie. because of where they are they can push on the pituitary or the optic nerve).
Therefore, in my best estimation at least, the fact that Ms. Holmes was not rushed into surgery in Ontario likely made both good medical AND good health care system sense.
Regarding the latter, think of it this way....Ms. Holmes, who was not in imminent danger, was was asked to wait a bit so that the clinicians involved could get a handle on whether or not it was progressing (ie. the usual conservative treatment decision for this condition) AND so that the glioma patients who really, really needed it could get their treatment first.
Now.... Ms. Holmes decided she couldn't wait....So, instead, she went south and had the relatively straightforward surgery to drain the cyst right away at a cost of $97,000.
Which is fair enough.
Just don't blame Canada for not letting her jump the queue.
Because the fact is that the folks in front of her in the line needed their immediate surgery much more than she did, which is something the great majority of Canadians agree is how things should be.
There is, of course, something else that the great majority of Canadians also agree upon.
Which is that nobody should have to pay $97,000 for any kind of medical treatment.
And we don't.And because of that we don't lose our houses, or worse, when we get catastrophically ill.
Wrote this after reading a comment by our good friend Great Aunty Bertha over at Laila's place. I've cross-posted it, with some pre-amble, down south at Firedoglake where they are really fighting the good fight and are attempting to force their legislators to do the right thing on American Health Care Reform. In fact, the strategies used by the FDLers to get legislative movement on issues of import might be worth considering up here as well. Why? Because rather than wrangling with the Repubs, they focus instead on the people who are actually supposed to be on their side (and yes, I'm looking at you Mr. Krog and associates re: RailGate).
Pale, over at A Creative Revolution has great backgrounder stuff on the Canadian HealthCare Haters' Club.
And our good friend Laura, who really has seen the HealthCare systems on both sides of the border up close and personal has even more.
Fellow border-straddler Ian Welsh tells it like it really is at the HuffPo (note also Ian's own tale of how the longterm care he received in Canada when he was young did NOT bankrupt his parents, but would have if they had lived in the States at the time).