Shot From the Hip

Most Canadians are both proud and frustrated by their health care system. They’re proud because (they claim) it’s a fair and equitable system that provides medical care to anyone, not just those who can afford it. Yet they’re also frustrated because the system is obviously failing to deliver as promised.

This op-ed from OpinionJournal reports on the Canadian Supreme Court’s ruling to a lawsuit brought by a patient needing hip replacement surgery who was upset by the extremely long wait he was going to have to suffer. The Supremes ruled that a Quebec law banning private medical insurance was hardly equitable.

Go ahead and read the whole thing. But what really jumped up and caught my eye was this single sentence.

Canada is the only nation other than Cuba and North Korea that bans private health insurance, according to Sally Pipes, head of the Pacific Research Institute in San Francisco and author of a recent book on Canada’s health-care system.

Think about that for just a moment. Canada has purposely decided to adopt a system that only the repressive Communist regimes of Cuba and North Korea have enacted. Doesn’t that make them uneasy?

I suppose not.

(Hat tip to Cox & Forkum.)

6 thoughts on “Shot From the Hip”

  1. Does anyone else find it odd that they take pride in a bureaucracy? I could understand pride in the military or creative pursuits, but a government bureaucracy? Eh.

  2. That’s not really accurate. Private health insurance is allowed so long as it does not extend to procedures that are covered by provincial health care plans (we don’t actually have national health care). So private insurance is used to cover dental benefits or prescription drugs for example. The way around the ban is to go to a private hospital like the Prime Minister does ( This despite his proclomation that “We’re not going to have a two-tier health care system in this country and nobody wants that!” For those who can’t afford this sort of private health care, private health insurance isn’t available to make it an affordable option.

    But hopefully that will change.

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