Red (Maple) Menace: Health Care Edition

As the fight over Obamacare heats up, the bill’s opponents are pulling no punches. A reader in New Jersey points me to an anti-Canadian health care attack ad that is running down there. It features a Canadian woman who got a brain tumour; her “government health care system” told her to wait six months for a specialist, and she survived only because she was able to get to the US for treatment.

The message of the spot is that patients should never let “government” get between them and their health care, because that leads to wait times, rationing, and arbitrary decisions about what treatments you are entitled to. As a Canadian, she ends by imploring Americans, “don’t give up your rights.”

Is this accurate? Hardly. Wait times we can argue over. But my sense is that an HMO gets “between a patient and their care” in a far more intrusive way than a provincial plan like OHIP does; though as a bit of northern red-baiting, it’s pretty effective.

Here’s the video — it’s called “Survivor”.  Dissect away.