Canadian Patients Travel to Oklahoma for Surgery
Many advocates of health-care reform are admirers of Canada's state-run, no-opt-out, single-payer system. Indeed, in 2003, President Barack Obama voiced enthusiasm for such a health-care program.
Proponents of Canadian-style health care should meet Cheryl Baxter, a Canadian citizen who waited years for hip-replacement surgery, only to be told that her operation would not happen any time soon. Instead of waiting, Baxter did what an increasing number of Canadians are doing: She flew to a clinic in the United States, paid out of pocket, and had a life-altering surgery in a matter of weeks rather than years.
Ms. Baxter travelled to the Surgery Center of Oklahoma, which follows a market-driven approach to surgery, including a practice of posting transparent prices for all of its deeply-discounted, payable-in-advance, cash-only procedures (featured on CD here). If a competitor offers a lower price, the Surgery Center of Oklahoma will match or beat it.