Have you seen this anti-Obama ad? The Koch-funded Americans for Prosperity is spending millions to run it nationwide. It relates the story of Shona Holmes, a Canadian who says she had to travel to the US to seek free-market treatment for a life-threatening brain tumor.
Thing is, it’s BS — and it has been since her case was first used by anti-Obamacare conservatives in a 2009 ad. It even has its own Wikipedia entry. Turns out Holmes never had a life-threatening brain cancer, but a benign growth, and she skipped out on her scheduled care to get an earlier appointment in the States. Nevertheless, AFP decided to use it for a new, deceptive ad this year.
Meantime, HuffPo relates the story of another Canadian, Ian, who does have a malignant brain cancer - and whose Canadian health benefits paid for his very sensitive care in America, even as he watched his friends to the south suffer and waste away:
Ian goes on to tell a story of a U.S. system where fellow brain tumor patients spent their time pleading with U.S. insurance companies for just one more week of treatment. The friends Ian made at the hospital had to leave treatment early because they had run out of money and the insurance companies would no longer cover the procedure.
Ian is still alive. But his friends are dead.
Much to the delight of Israeli hawks, the Canadian government announced today that it is severing all diplomatic ties with Iran, closing its Tehran embassy and expelling every Iranian diplomat from Canada.
Foreign Minister John Baird, detailing the move, condemned Iran as a “threat to global security” and insisted the move was a response to Iran’s hostility toward Israel. Israel has regularly been threatening to attack Iran, though in recent days it is suggested that they are climbing down off that threat.
The move was loudly praised by Israeli officials as well as the ADL, which urged the world to “follow Canada’s lead” in severing ties in the lead up to a potential war, saying the nation’s civilian nuclear program and “anti-Semitic rhetoric” can no longer be tolerated.
It was immediately questioned by former Canadian diplomat John Mundy, who noted that it was a “grave step and it can’t easily be reversed.” He also lamented the precedent it set, as the first time Canada has proactively taken a step to reduce its ability to facilitate peace negotiations.
When president Obama halted the Keystone XL pipeline last January, Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper revved up an alternative scheme to deliver oil from the tar sands of northern Alberta to the international market: Sell the oil to the Chinese. Within weeks, Harper was traveling to China to personally court Chinese president Hu Jintao and push a new route for the pipeline – one that would establish Canada as a leading petro-state, a kind of North American Saudi Arabia with ice hockey.
There was only one problem with Harper’s grand scheme: Canadians, it turns out, don’t want a new pipeline any more than Americans do.
(Image above: Jessica Redfield’s last tweet before becoming one of the shooting victims in Aurora last night.)
I only know about this tragic story because I follow Jake Tapper on Twitter. He tweeted:
How strange (and, yes, chilling) that in her last blog post, dated June 5, 2012, she’s discussing how she narrowly missed a shooting in the food court of Toronto’s Eaton Centre last month, and how it continued to haunt her:
“I can’t get this odd feeling out of my chest. This empty, almost sickening feeling won’t go away. I noticed this feeling when I was in the Eaton Center in Toronto just seconds before someone opened fire in the food court. An odd feeling which led me to go outside and unknowingly out of harm‘s way. It’s hard for me to wrap my mind around how a weird feeling saved me from being in the middle of a deadly shooting.
“[…] I say all the time that every moment we have to live our life is a blessing. So often I have found myself taking it for granted. Every hug from a family member. Every laugh we share with friends. Even the times of solitude are all blessings. Every second of every day is a gift. After Saturday evening, I know I truly understand how blessed I am for each second I am given.
“I feel like I am overreacting about what I experienced. But I can’t help but be thankful for whatever caused me to make the choices that I made that day. My mind keeps replaying what I saw over in my head. I hope the victims make a full recovery. I wish I could shake this odd feeling from my chest. The feeling that’s reminding me how blessed I am. The same feeling that made me leave the Eaton Center. The feeling that may have potentially saved my life.”
I’m so sorry, Jessica. My heart goes out to your family and your friends.
On July 1, Canada Day, Canadians awoke to a startling, if pleasant, piece of news: For the first time in recent history, the average Canadian is richer than the average American.
According to data from Environics Analytics WealthScapes published in the Globe and Mail, the net worth of the average Canadian household in 2011 was $363,202, while the average American household’s net worth was $319,970.
A few days later, Canada and the U.S. both released the latest job figures. Canada’s unemployment rate fell, again, to 7.2 percent, and America’s was a stagnant 8.2 percent. Canada continues to thrive while the U.S. struggles to find its way out of an intractable economic crisis and a political sine curve of hope and despair.
The difference grows starker by the month: The Canadian system is working; the American system is not. And it’s not just Canadians who are noticing. As Iceland considers switching to a currency other than the krona, its leaders’ primary focus of interest is the loonie — the Canadian dollar.
As a study recently published in the New York University Law Review pointed out, national constitutions based on the American model are quickly disappearing. Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, in an interview on Egyptian television, admitted, “I would not look to the United States Constitution if I were drafting a constitution in the year 2012.” The natural replacement? The Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, achieving the status of legal superstar as it reaches its 30th birthday.
HuffPost Canada reports:
The U.S. Supreme Court upheld President Barack Obama’s health care plan on Thursday, in a 5-4 decision.
The President’s health care plan, considered to be a key part of his domestic agenda, has been opposed by Republicans and many right-wing Americans.
Many Americans who were upset at the Supreme Court decision took to Twitter to voice their anger. Weirdly enough, many Americans tweeted about ‘moving to Canada’ to escape socialized medicine.
“I’m moving to Canada, the United States is entirely too socialist,” tweets @wallyweldon.
Click here to read more.
Little do these right-wing idiots know that if they moved to Canada, they would have socialized medicine and every person having health insurance.
Kinda defeats the moving, doesn’t it?
Socialized healthcare, similar to what President Obama helped pass in the Affordable Care Act.
Universally recognized same-sex marriage.
Canada’s population is 45% Atheist.
In Canada, there is no limit on abortions. They can occur in the 1st, 2nd, 3rd trimester, or even partial birth.
Also, Fox News is not allowed to air in Canada.
So, how’s your so-called brilliant plan working out now, Republican?
arial view of Montreal demonstration now…(via Instagram)
The 100th day of Quebec’s student strikes.
Cheers from down south!
As the U.S. Supreme Court holds an unprecedented three days of hearings on whether the 2010 health care law is constitutional, we take a look at how other countries handle health care.
A 2010 analysis by the Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that promotes health care in the United States, found that the U.S. spent more per capita on health care than any other industrialized country. The research used data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Here are highlights of other countries’ health care from the analysis and a 2009 comparison by PBS Newshour:
Canada: Under the Canada Health Act, Canadians receive health coverage through Medicare, and may opt to purchase private insurance for services not covered under the public plan (dental care and prescription drugs, for example). Taxes fund the system. Most hospitals are not-for-profits owned by religious orders, universities and governments. Australia’s system is similar.
Japan: Under Japan’s social insurance program, all citizens must have health insurance. Not-for-profit insurers work through employers and the national health care program, and offer the same services and medications at the same prices controlled by the health ministry. Patients can choose their health care providers. Individuals pay 20-30 percent of costs up to a certain level, and then receive full coverage.
“Not only does it have universal coverage but it has excellent health status … and at a very low cost,” Francesca Colombo, a senior health policy analyst at OECD, told Newshour.
The whopping medical bill faced by the family of Canadian freestyle skier Sarah Burke, who died from a head injury while practising at Park City, Utah, has triggered a spasm of embarrassment among Americans over their health-care system.
Burke, of Squamish, B.C., died at a Salt Lake City hospital nine days after crashing on the half-pipe course at Park City. The accident tore a vertebral artery in her neck, causing bleeding into her brain.
Her care wasn’t covered by competitor insurance provided by the Canadian Freestyle Ski Associationbecause the Park City event was unsanctioned.
That left the Burke family with a bill initially estimated at $550,000, later revised downward to around $200,000, some of which will be covered by B.C. Medicare.
Burke’s husband, Rory Bushfield, also set up a web site to solicit donations, while the event’s sponsor, drink-maker Monster Energy Co., belatedly promised to assist the family.
But the Salt Lake City Tribune reported Tuesday that the medical-bill flap has been cited by U.S. and international media “as proof of what ails the U.S. health-care system.”
Wendell Potter, a former U.S. insurance industry executive but now a critic of the American system, wrote in the Huffington Post this week that the Burke family’s plight compounded their grief.
“The irony is that had the accident occurred in Canada, her family would not be having to come up with more than half a million dollars to pay for her care,” wrote Potter, an analyst for the Center for Public Integrity. “Her care would have been covered because, unlike the U.S., Canada has a system of universal coverage.”
An estimated 700,000 American families file for bankruptcy each year because of medical debt, he wrote.
“No one in Canada finds themselves in that predicament, nor do they face losing their homes as many Americans do when they become critically ill or suffer an injury,” Potter wrote.
Calgary Herald columnist Robert Remington, who along with Potter was cited in the Tribune story, quoted an un-named commentator who summed up the Burke family’s experience this way: “Sorry for your loss. Here’s your bill.”
Steve Morgan, a health policy analyst at the University of British Columbia, told Remington that U.S. insurance companies routinely negotiate down such big medical tabs but uninsured Americans pay full retail because they have no bargaining power.
“Morgan says Burke’s case should be a sobering reminder to Canadians of what could happen in a privately-insured market, rather than a public system where everyone is insured against a catastrophic event,” Remington wrote.