Feb 3, 2010

It’s about access not quality

It’s about access, stupid.

You just knew right-wingers would jump on this report about the premier of the Canadian province of Newfoundland coming to the U.S. for heart surgery to trash Canada’s single-payer universal health care system, and they did not disappoint.

The Washington Post is reporting that
“The premier of Canada's east coast province is undergoing heart surgery in the United States this week because the treatment he is seeking was not available in his home province.” Kathy Dunderdale, the province's deputy premier who is taking over in his absence, said Tuesday that (Premier Danny) Williams decided to go to the U.S. for surgery after weeks of consultation with his doctors.”

That’s great, but 50 million Americans don’t have access to doctors to consult with. No one has ever said that the U.S. does not have great health care, but millions of Americans simply do not have access to that great health care. But here’s the kicker:

“Williams, 60, is an independently wealthy former lawyer and businessman who donates his premier's salary to charity.”

For him and idiots like Rush Limbaugh who pay cash for treatment, there is no health care problem in the U.S. But for the majority of Americans, access to that health care is the problem. Illness and medical bills are the number one cause of bankruptcy in the U.S., even for those with medical insurance.

Health care is no problem for the independently wealthy, but for most Americans, the insurance companies are making life and death medical decisions for them and if they survive the medical treatment, they face bankruptcy.

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