Reason Foundation

http://reason.org
http://reason.org/blog/show/obamas-heavenly-care

Reason Foundation

Out of Control Policy Blog

Obama's Heavenly Care

Shikha Dalmia
August 22, 2009, 12:45am

Even as President Obama is pushing America toward CanadaCare - Canadians are flocking to America for health care. The Detroit Free Press reported this morning that many Detroit hospitals are forging lucrative arrangements with the Ontario government to provide services - including cardiac, imaging tests, and bariatric -- to Canadians that their government is unable to provide in a timely way.

"The agreements show how a country with a national care system...copes with demand for care with U.S. partnerships, rather than building new facilities," the Freep cheerfully tells us.

Consider the case of Dany Mercado, a leukemia patient from Kitchener, Ontario. He is cancer-free after getting a bone marrow transplant at the Barbara Ann Karmanos Cancer Institute in Detroit.

Told by Canadian doctors in 2007 he couldn't have the procedure there, Mercado's family and doctor appealed to Ontario health officials, who agreed to let him have the transplant in Detroit in January 2008. The Ontario government paid $200,000 for the procedure. (How is that for saving money?)

Mercado is from around Windsor. But Pat Somers, vice president of operations at Windsor's Hotel-Dieu Grace Hospital, said government "ministries are quite aware of" waits for care in other cities as well. But worry not, they have everything under control! "That's why we are investing in a wait list strategy," Somers assured the Freep reporters. They have very good ways, for example, to determine "how to prioritize cases for people who need hip and knee replacements, cataract surgery and treatment for cancer."

The wait-listed folks make a bee-line for Detroit hospitals, which is certainly great for these hospitals given that they have been losing patients as the city's residents move out.

"In the last few years, we've seen more and more Canadian patients,"  Dr. J. Edson Pontes, senior vice president of international medicine at the DMC, said. "About 300 of the DMC's 400 international patients last year came from Canada," Pontes estimated.

Here is my question: Canadians suffering under nationalized health care come to America for care. Where will Americans suffering under ObamaCare go?

Open the Pearly Gates, please!

Whole story here.


Shikha Dalmia is Senior Analyst


Print This