Proponents of big-government health care often cite Canada’s system as one we should emulate. Undoubtedly, there are some things that socialized medicine does just fine. I have family who live in Norway, and have been told that their system works well for things like routine check ups and minor illness. You just wouldn’t want to have to use their system if you get really sick or have a serious medical problem.
It sounds like Canada’s Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams feels pretty much the same way.
Williams elected to head to the United States to have his heart surgery, instead of making use of Canada’s free health care system. Unsurprisingly, may have taken note of his decision, especially as the U.S. teeters on the edge of massively expanding government’s control over our own health care system. As the Canadian Press reports:
An unapologetic Danny Williams says he was aware his trip to the United States for heart surgery earlier this month would spark outcry, but he concluded his personal health trumped any public fallout over the controversial decision.
In an interview with The Canadian Press, Williams said he went to Miami to have a “minimally invasive” surgery for an ailment first detected nearly a year ago, based on the advice of his doctors.
“This was my heart, my choice and my health,” Williams said late Monday from his condominium in Sarasota, Fla.
“I did not sign away my right to get the best possible health care for myself when I entered politics.”…
His doctors in Canada presented him with two options – a full or partial sternotomy, both of which would’ve required breaking bones, he said.
He said he spoke with and provided his medical information to a leading cardiac surgeon in New Jersey who is also from Newfoundland and Labrador. He advised him to seek treatment at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami.
That’s where he was treated by Dr. Joseph Lamelas, a cardiac surgeon who has performed more than 8,000 open-heart surgeries.
Williams said Lamelas made an incision under his arm that didn’t require any bone breakage.
Certainly one understands Williams’ decision. He shouldn’t have to “sign away his right to the best possible health care” just because he’s famous. But should the rest of his countrymen have to sign away their rights to the best possible health care just because they live in Canada? Should they have to have their bones broken for a heart procedure that can apparently be fixed much less evasively?
Williams assured the public: “I have the utmost confidence in our own health care system in Newfoundland and Labrador.” But his actions speak louder than his words.
Americans should consider what Williams’ decision says about government-run health care before we make a major move in the direction of Canada’s system. Williams, and the thousands of others who flee socialized medical systems to avail themselves of U.S. doctors each year, soon may have no where to escape to.