This ad paid for by the pro-Romney Americans for Prosperity Super PAC
We lived in Canada for 5 years.
My wife had a torn rotator cuff. It took two years to see an orthopedic surgeon only to be told he wouldn't operate. After moving back to the states she was scheduled for surgery within 4 months.
My son would break out in hives every time he started sweating. We went to the GP who set up an appointment with a dermatologist. The appointment was 8 months away. During that 8 months we moved back to the states and had multiple visits with the dermatologist.
In overall cancer survival rate, Canada is #2 in the world. The US is number one.
The US is much more expensive.
If your life is in immediate danger, you get fantastic care in Canada and in the US.
If my life is not in immediate danger, there is no question I'd rather be in the US.
The average time spent in an Alberta emergency room is 27 hours.
The single place generating the most calls for ambulance service in Alberta is are the emergency rooms.
While it is true that most Canadians would not trade, most Canadians do not understand the US system.
But we've lived in both and one of the resons I'm back here is because of the horrible health care we recieved in Canada.
There is such a documentary Nick, from PBS a few years back - http://www.pbs.org/wgbh/pages/frontline/sickaroundtheworld/
I am American but I know live in Canada. A few years ago, I needed a knee surgery after an accident. Yes, I did have to wait a bit and I did have to go to another town close by to get the surgery. But the care that I received here was great! Another friend of mine from Texas just had a baby and he also had only great things to say about the care that his wife and the baby received. The system here may have its flaws but it is way better than anything in the US and way cheaper for the tax payer too.
Actually, here is an interesting thing for Republicans to think about. Are you more likely to be an entrepreneur under the Canadian system? I would say so. When I was living in the US, I could not consider the risk of leaving my job in a big multinational and risk loosing the health care benefits for me and my family. Now, that I live in Canada, I can finally think of opening a small business.
I have many friends, and one family member, in the Great White North, and not one of them would trade their system for the "system" in place the US. That's not to say that they don't have complaints. If you need emergency treatment, the Canadian system is great, it's the delays in surgery and certain treatments, such as the case of the woman in this ad, that are the source of most complaints. But suppose this woman lived in the US and couldn't afford treatment; what would become of her? And often, when the Canadian system cannot provide a certain treatment in a timely fashion it will pay to have it done in the US. Was that explored in this case? We don't know.
My main rap on this commercial, though, is the conflation of different systems, as Brook points out. The AHA is not like the Canadian system and it, in turn, is not at all like the British system, but critics of the AHA often lump them all together. Sure, there are criticisms to be made of all systems, but using alleged weaknesses in one to attack the other is plain dishonest.
The video begs many questions and is way too sympathetic to the lies embedded in the narrative.
Ideally NPR, in conjunction with PBS, would do a week of broadcasts in which all of its programming would be dedicated to an objective study of the Canadian system vs the private health insurance system we have in the US.
Have real experts from all "sides" cite studies and let them have the time to rebut each other. Allow proponents/flacks from the insurance industry have their say at length....but PLEASE then let some of the folks from PNHP have EQUAL time to rebut.
In any fair and in depth comparison between what the Canadians have and What we have I am of the opinion that most Americans would wind up wishing that we too could become free of medical bills.
Is it possible that there are disasters and bad outcomes in Canada? Of course...no system is 100% perfect...that's not reality. It will always be possible for a Romney to find an isolated case and to hype it.
I would love for a truly in depth investigative two hours to be devoted to simply dissecting the case cited in this ad....but OBJECTIVELY and exhaustively from both sides. Obviously, producing such a piece would in itself be a major production costing big bucks.
In toto all that I've proposed so far might cost a couple of million bucks and take months of journalistic enterprise......ahhh, but at the end of it what would we have? Something that could have a powerful impact on policies that consume nearly 20% of the American economy and that will eventually become life and death issues for everyone since we will ALL eventually get sick and need lots of heath care.
Playing one one deceptive/manipulative piece of propaganda and riffing on it doesn't even begin to scratch the surface...but, alas, it's a bit better than nothing.
Let's all understand that the health insurance industry is perfectly willing and able to spend hundreds of millions of dollars over decades to "insure" that the status quo remains n place. Even "Obamacare" is, essentially, just one more way of keeping their business model essentially intact and even growing.....yet they fight such a superficial reform tooth and nail.
At some point, American WILL have single payer and the health care will wind up being provided by people and"institutions that actually care about health more than they care about maximizing profit.
It's a dirty rotten shame that most bankruptcies are caused by inability to pay medical bills and that millions of people over long periods of time have suffered and died because of this insanely craven system. It is simply not sustainable in the long run.
There is NO LIMIT to the greed of this industry and if given the opportunity it would bleed all of us dry...that is the nature of greed. They will continue to take take take until they are stopped.
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