Newfoundland & Labrador Premier Danny Williams Attacked for Seeking US Cardiac Care – February 3, 2010

Newfoundland & Labrador Premier Danny Williams is taking flak for going to the US for undisclosed Cardiac Surgery.    Many are considering this a flagrant slight of the medicare system in Canada and this simply being a case of how those that can afford it seek better quality care south of the border.

LINK “That’s like the premier of China coming here for a decent egg roll,” read one comment. “It must be pretty bad when even someone with his clout skips town for medical help.”

Such odd discussions.    Nobody has ever suggested that US healthcare is bad; simply that it’s unavailable or out of reach of most people that live in the Country and that the high inflated costs of care in the US is a scary model to consider in any civilized society.

LINK 2 “Public versus private health care is a hot potato that has landed in many political laps. Former Liberal prime minister Paul Martin took flak in 2004 for the fact that his longtime physician ran a network of private clinics. Martin denied ever using private health care.

Former Tory prime minister Joe Clark was criticized by the former Canadian Alliance party after he said he had surgery at a private clinic in the late 1980s.”

What do you think Canada?  Is this a canary in a coal mine or simply the jaded reality of our health care system?     Do you think that Canada has the political will to save Medicare?   Please post your comments below.

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  1. Socialized health care, like any other state controlled monopoly, will simply become more and more intolerable. No profit and loss signals and no competition. Duh. Why criticize someone for making the smart choice for their own health? There is no saving medicare in the long run. No worries though Canucks, when the US does finally does fully embrace socialism they too will reap the disasters you now are facing.

  2. Author

    Sadly Rezrevolt it’s more likely that Canada will fall into the abyss that is America before America turns socialist. This whole Health Care sham in the US is not medicare; it’s the worst of medicare being inflicted on the taxpayer who seems to have less say in US politics than the big drug and medical corps.

  3. I have been hospitalized and operated on with sports related fractures in both Canada and the United States and it is a no-brainer as to where I would rather be placed. While my family and I do not use medical services, if one of us were to require it, my first choice would be to look to the US. This is not an ideological issue, but one of quality. I was brought up to believe that if someone in your family broke their leg in the US, you would be in debt for generations and if you did not have the money to pay you would be left in the streets to die. This is just not true. Is the care expensive? Yes, but it is also expensive in Canada – they just don’t give you an itemized bill at the end, so that you never know their dirty little secret. If you want to know what your “free” health care costs, look at your 2009 taxes and it will give you a pretty good idea!

    US health care is a mess, not because of ideology, but because it is so focused on treatment rather than health. That is the same reason Canada’s health care is a mess, we just take a little more personal responsibility. Medicare will only be “fixed” when it is used as it was originally designed – as emergency insurance in case of crisis. It was never meant to be an assurance of health and as long as that is the expectation it will always be a disappointment because it cannot deliver on that promise.

  4. Author

    Great post Clint!

  5. There is nothing wrong with our healthcare system here in Canada, I guess Danny Williams just wants to give it a kick. I find it ludicrous that he went to the U.S. for heart surgery. We know that he receives no salary as Premier of Newfoundland & Labrador so I guess he’s not paying any taxes to Canada and as such perhaps he’s not covered by healthcare. He is a very rich man, worth approximately $200-300 Million, and can certainly afford paying for the operation.
    The strange thing is that nobody seems to know where he is in the U.S., not even his staff. That speaks volumes of the man who is that paranoid that his family, friends and staff are in the dark as to his whereabouts. Whats he scared of? By the way, even though it sounds gallant and great that he receives no salary in his hands, his salary is actually deposited into the Williams Family Foundation

  6. And here we are, two days later and none the wiser. It was reported that Danny Williams underwent his heart surgery this morning and that he was presently in Intensive Care for recovery. They still have not disclosed the Premiers whereabouts in the U.S. How paranoid is that? Does he think that someone might go down there and pull out his tubes? Danny Boy, you’re just not that important, even if you think you are!

  7. If this man feels he can get the best care in the world to save his own life in the US, then good on him.

    Sadly, the problems with health care are entirely due to ideology. The belief that “healthcare” is a “right” rather than a “good” and somehow not subject to market forces is one of the core fallacies behind the mess. The controls of special interests which limit care and regulate insurance, drugs, relationships and a hundred other aspects of healthcare are other reasons. Remember Canadians, health insurance is not the same as health care.

    I fail to see how Canadians take “more personal responsibility” than Americans. If the American pays for his health care out of pocket and does not rely on a monopolistic, state controlled system, how is he not “taking responsibility”? The problem in this scenario is cost; why does it cost so much. It really shouldn’t but does, so we must look deeper into the issue and find the miasma of regulation, cartelization, monopolization, obfuscation that are the Canadian (socialist) and US (fascist) healthcare systems.

    Anyhoo, I’ll close to referring you all to a couple of links I found interesting on the subject, all by Canadians:

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    It’s ironic Rezrevolt that a former cab minister now does commercials pleading for cataract surgeries to be done in India for $35 a pop. You can’t get that done here in Ontario for ten times that price, and wait lists make it worse.

  9. If Danny Williams didn’t break any rules here in Canada. Then who cares. So what, he went to the US and had his surgery. He has to pay for that. So long as he didn’t skip any line here in Canada to get his surgery, then I don’t care what he does.

  10. Innapprpriate for someone to seek care for a health problem where and when it can be found? …Hardly.

    What if you walked into Zellers and they didn’t have the smoke detector you needed, and/or a substitute wasn’t going to be a in for another week (and the product you want is at WalMart right now)? …you’d head to WalMart rather than risk life.

    And to those of you that might suggest it is a two-tier system, I trust you’re not drinking bottled water while fellow Canadians (and Ontarians) are drinking their own waste on our reserves.

    But lastly, have you ever had a cancer growing inside you, and had to wait a month for testing and results, then another two for surgery? Trust me that one week for the whole process in Rochester New York for $30,000 was looking pretty good.

    For heaven’s sake we can drop a billion into the Olympic Games for a bunch of fit and healthy athletes, and $20 billion dumped into hopeless and corrupt Afghanistan (being the cause of killing and maiming more than we help), and now even willing to pay the enemy in some kind of protection racket.

    If the care that Canadians need isn’t here, then get it here. We can obviously afford it.

  11. Author

    Tremendous post Gerry. I was at the Health Town Hall Meeting this week and at an area Art Group. Minus politicians there were more people at the Art meeting than the Health one. It’s amazing as most people truly do care more about health than anything else yet we’ve been conditioned to never speak up an say anything about the billions if not trillions of our dollars spent on a corrupt health system that doesn’t deliver what we pay it to do.

    People need to become aware and use their votes to get some accountability into the system.

  12. Canadians live longer than Americans. The only group that gets better health care in the US than in Canada are the very rich. Let’s keep and improve our health care system and not copy the failed and expensive American model.

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