Out of Control Policy Blog

Obama's Heavenly Care

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

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Comments to "Obama's Heavenly Care":

Carl C. | August 22, 2009, 12:59am | #

With these experiences we should really give attention with the situation of our Health insurance today. We will never know when an illness might strike us. Blaming Obama is nothing but a waste of time. People voted him to lead them. But what's happening now? NOTHING.. well, the fact that people decided to put him in the white house is a proof that they really believed on him. Things will run like a boat going with the flow at the same time with the force of air. On the other hand, New York Post Deadly Doctors refers to an op-ed by Betsy McCaughhey, and she isn't in favor of Obamacare. The piece described a purported tenet of the public health care plan, which would create an allotment system that would deny care to the mentally disabled and the elderly. (This rumor hasn't been confirmed in the bill itself.) She also went on a tear about Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, Rahm Emanuel's brother, and hasn't checked a lot of facts or cited the health care bill itself. Blood work, invasive probing, the works – it would be less invasive and painful to get auto financing than to conclusively prove Caster Semenya is a female, according to athletic organization standards.

REL | August 29, 2009, 12:05pm | #

Pretty impressive. You request the Pearly Gates open to help us avoid government take over of health care, and a few days later Senator Kennedy dies.

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