Canadian province premier bails on single-payer system for surgery

by Ed Morrissey
February 2, 2010

Last August, in the middle of a season of politician-roasting town halls over the government overhaul of the American health-care system, the Detroit Free Press reported that our neighbors to the north had begun contracting with American hospitals to handle overflow from their oft-praised single-payer system. The effort by Canada attempted to legitimize a natural flow of people with means across the border to seek the immediate care that Canada’s fully-public system could not provide. That story didn’t get too much traction in either the US or Canada, mainly due to the efforts of politicians in both countries insisting that central control of the health-care sector is necessary for reform.

However, that may change now that a prominent politician in Canada has followed the same path as many of his fellow citizens in order to save his own life:

Newfoundland and Labrador Premier Danny Williams is set to undergo heart surgery this week in the United States.

CBC News confirmed Monday that Williams, 60, left the province earlier in the day and will have surgery later in the week.

The premier’s office provided few details, beyond confirming that he would have heart surgery and saying that it was not necessarily a routine procedure.

If an American governor had to go outside the US to seek the kind of immediate care he needed, that would be considered scandalous. In fact, if an American governor had to leave his or her own state to seek expert care, I’d expect it to be a fairly controversial move, unless it was treatment for a rather exotic malady that perhaps only a Mayo clinic could handle.

The article, with embedded video, continues at

UPDATE from Blazing Cat Fur:

The Americans want to know…
Why is Premier Danny Williams Having Heart Surgery in the U.S.?

There is only one answer: Healthcare is sacred to the Liberal Party of Canada so long as Liberals don’t have to suffer.

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