Friends of ours have a son, an engineer, who married a Canadian girl, also an engineer. She's pregnant now, at the same time her husband's firm would like to transfer him to Phoenix on a temporary assignment. The company says her pregnancy is just fine--they'll fly her back to Ontario from Phoenix every time she needs to see the doc, weekly, if need be, because it's that much cheaper for them to fly her home than to pay the bills for a birth in States.
They're not afraid of quality, I guess. Amazing.
The rhetoric on the Canadian health care system, as I hear it, seems fearfully overblown, so much so that Shep Smith asked a Fox News reporter last night whether yet another report about Canadians flooding the border to escape horrifyingly decrepit conditions up north was, in fact, fair.
Fair, in this country's medical care debates, is hard to come by. All I know for sure is that in almost forty years of life among Canadians and with Canadians, I just haven't heard so many complaints as some news reports claim. One might think the only sounds emanating from up north are the sounds of feet shuffling through immense lines and concurrent volumes of weeping and gnashing of teeth. Not so--at least not so in my experience.
What seems obvious is that the Canadian health system costs less and delivers more. Canadians spend ten percent of their economy on health care; we spend 16--that translates to 80 billion dollars.
We have somewhere around 40 million uninsured; Canada has none. I don't know any or all of these figures end the argument, but Canadians have a much lower infant mortality rate (20% lower), and live, on average, three years longer.
No health care system is perfect. Most reports claim Canadians do wait longer for some elective surgeries, but what so many Yankees seem not to want to think about is that the whole problem of health care is immensely complex--immensely.
Take "preventive care," for instance, one of Obama's favorite choruses. Who can possibly be against "preventive care," right? Yet, if we exercise prudent "preventive care," people will live longer. If they do, their individual health care costs skyrocket. Therefore, if we argue by sheer bucks, we ought to avoid preventive care so all of us die young and thereby save money.
Or how about this.? Dr. Oz's free clinics see thousands of uninsured patients, a significant majority of which are obese. Obesity is a major American health problem, says this overweight guy, and a huge problem among children. On Morning Joe yesterday, Oz suggested that obesity among children is augmented by programs in physical education being cut, by no more school recesses, and by the fact that almost 90% of elementary school children in this country now take a bus to school, when they could and should be walking.
Health care is immensely complex and gigantic, and some people's knee-jerk responses are as silly as they are scary.
I make no claims for authority. Authority requires far more knowledge and experience than I have. What I know, however, is that through the many years I've worked with Canadians, and lived with them, I've never heard them complain as much as some segments of the press now claim they do.
This friend of ours with the Dallas-based son and daughter-in-law told me she didn't even dare tell her U. S. relatives that story, for fear they'd think her a communist. Our preacher is a Canadian--I'm not sure he could stand on the pulpit and offer his point of view. Likely as not, he'd get scalped.
And what's worse, we'd end up paying the medical care.