Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Jepps: triumph of Canada's health system, or America's?

Re: St. Catharines Standard (Sept.4, 2007, pg.B8) article: “Quad’s birth triggers U.S. questions on ‘flawed’ health system in Canada”. (story also appears, in a longer version: “Americans question Canada’s health system” on Canoe News, Sept.1, 2007)

In this Canadian Press story reporter Bill Graveland wrote: “The precious gift of American citizenship comes to the Jepp quads because there were no hospital facilities anywhere in Canada able to handle four neonatal intensive care babies,” writes Blue Zeus in another entry.” But the way Graveland’s story is written, it gives the impression that this quote is from the anonymous “Blue Zeus” , when in fact, the quote was written by Thomas Lifson, the editor of American Thinker, and was posted by Lifson on Aug.17, 2007, two days before Zeus’ entry. (Zeus does provide a link to American Thinker)

In any event, the Jepp’s U.S. birth does represent an ever palpable pattern revealing the myths of the superiority of Canadian medicare. Let’s not pretend that only Americans are looking askance at the failure of Alberta’s fabled universal health system to provide for their birth in Canada. The Calgary Herald reported Aug. 17, 2007 that five women have been transferred this year south of the border because of neonatal shortages in Calgary. And then to read some Calgary Health Region official say that American critics “don’t have all the facts and information” is laughably outrageous. After “exhausting the options”, what answer is there BUT that Canada’s single-payer system, as practised in Alberta, failed to deliver the Jepps (so to speak) in their own country; failed them when they needed it most! When healthcare rhetoric met healthcare reality, universality’s façade crumbled. The symbiotic nature of the Canada/U.S. healthcare systems cannot be ignored. Thankfully the States are there as Canada’s back-up system when our socialized health system can’t deliver. Michael Moore left that little inconvenient truth out of his crockumentary, Sicko.

And let’s not forget the story here, right in Niagara, in the St. Catharines Standard (“Hospital backlog forces twins’ cross-border birth”, Feb. 18, 2006), which told of the Coote twins being born in Buffalo because in Liberal Health Minister George Smitherman’s Ontario, there were NO hospitals available to accept their expectant mother. To this day, I don’t recall local St. Catharines Liberal Jim Bradley, or Smitherman (both of whom desire to be re-elected) giving any explanations for why that occurred on their watch.

They want us to believe that these are obscure and anecdotal incidents.

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