MLA’s Canada Health Care Guide

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

Next year, thousands of English professors head to Vancouver for the annual Modern Language Association (MLA) convention. Let’s hope they stay healthy so they don’t get to use the type of national health care they’ve always wanted.

canada er wait lines

The Canadian Frasier Institute offers a depressing recap on the results of Canada’s single-payer system:

“Since 1993, the average wait for treatment has almost doubled (to 18.2 weeks in 2013), per capita public healthcare expenditures have increased by about 40 per cent (after adjusting for inflation), and it is becoming increasingly apparent that patients are suffering the consequences,” Bachus Barua reports in the Fall 2014 Frasier Institute Quarterly:

  • “Specifically, after crunching the numbers we estimated between 25,456 and 63,090 Canadian women may have died as a result of increased wait times during this period,” Barua relates, and;
  • “Many patients face physical pain and suffering, mental anguish, and lost economic productivity (about $1,200 per patient) while waiting for treatment in this country. For example, Statistics Canada found that about one fifth of patients who visited a specialist, and about 11 per cent of those waiting for non-emergency surgery, were adversely affected by their wait. Many reported experiencing worry, stress, anxiety, pain, and difficulties with daily activities.”

As it happens, American health care is starting to resemble that of our northern neighbor, due in no small part to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) commonly known as Obamacare, a label the president himself embraces:

  • “The largest insurer with the lowest premium rates on Minnesota’s Obamacare exchange is dropping out because the government health-exchange is unsustainable, the company announced Tuesday,” Sarah Hurtubise reported in The Daily Caller on September 16, 2014. “PreferredOne Health Insurance told MNsure, the state-run exchange, Tuesday morning that it would not continue to offer its popular insurance plans on the marketplace in 2015. It’s ‘purely a business decision,’ spokesman Steve Peterson told KSTP-TV. The company is losing money on administrative costs for plans offered on the bureaucratic and glitchy government exchange.”
  • Meanwhile, “North Carolina’s largest insurer, Blue Cross Blue Shield, recently announced that buyers of ObamaCare health plans and plans grandfathered after the law passed will see double digit increases in their premiums on average for 2015,” Hadley Heath Manning, director of health policy for the Independent Women’s Voice reported on October 30, 2014. Manning served as an instructor for Accuracy in Academia’s Conservative University course on Women and Obamacare.
  • And, “The Obama administration announced Monday it expects the number of people who will gain health coverage in the next year through the Affordable Care Act’s insurance marketplaces to be significantly fewer than previous government predictions,” Amy Goldstein reported in the Washington Post on November 10, 2014. “Health and Human Services officials said that 9 million to 9.9 million Americans — as much as 30 percent below other estimates— will have insurance by the end of 2015 through fledgling federal and state insurance exchanges intended for people who cannot get affordable coverage through a job.”

The Cybercast News Service (CNS) unearthed a tape in which one of Obamacare’s biggest boosters revealed the deception that undergirded the administration’s initial promotion of the ACA. “This bill was written in a tortured way to make sure CBO [the Congressional Budget Office] did not score the mandate as taxes,” MIT economist Jonathan Gruber said at a forum. “If CBO scored the mandate as taxes, the bill dies.”

“So it was written to do that. In terms of risk related subsidies, if you had a law which made explicit that healthy people pay in and sick people get money it would not have passed. Lack of transparency is a huge political advantage. And basically, call it the stupidity of the American voter or whatever, but basically that was really, really critical to get the thing to pass.”