Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Sick Canadian Faces Death or Bankruptcy

"Our supposedly universal federal health care system, the pride of most Canadians and the political struggle of America, is only as good as the length of the waiting line and whether you have the right disease at the right time.

Suffering from brain cancer, Kent Pankow of Edmonton, Alberta, was literally forced to go to the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn. for lifesaving surgery — at a cost to family and friends of $106,000 — after the health-care system in Alberta left him hanging in bureaucratic limbo for 16 crucial days, his tumour meanwhile migrating to an unreachable part of the brain, while it dithered over his case file, ultimately deciding he was not surgery worthy."

Read
more here.

HT: C. Clarke

18 Comments:

At 3/09/2010 10:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Well, maybe the Canucks and Yanks have more in common with their health care systems than they realize: they both wish their systems would work better.

 
At 3/09/2010 11:24 PM, Anonymous Keyser S. said...

That's scary. Is this what the libtards want to happen to americans?

 
At 3/09/2010 11:59 PM, Blogger Colin said...

Here's another story detailing the "compassion" of government-run health care:

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1255858/Neglected-lazy-nurses-Kane-Gorny-22-dying-thirst-rang-police-beg-water.html

 
At 3/10/2010 12:14 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Medicare wouldn't cover my elderly dad's bypass. Good thing my folks can afford supplemental insurance.

Best wishes from Kansas!

 
At 3/10/2010 1:30 AM, Anonymous The Patient Factor said...

Many Canadian patients are forced to leave Canada's single-payer, government-run health care system to seek the medical care they so desperately need. The option of accessing medical care in the United States has always served as a beacon of hope for these patients. Contrary to what our politicians would have you believe, Canada's universal health care system is failing both patients and providers.

 
At 3/10/2010 1:43 AM, Blogger bobble said...

this same kind of thing happens with private health insurance in the united states.

i did one quick google and found this. i'm sure i could find many more.

this is more about the horrors of bureaucracies, be they government or corporate.

 
At 3/10/2010 3:40 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Brain cancer. This man will be dead in a few months. His wallet has now been transferred to America. Well done US Health Service. I can assure you there are more Americans than Candians waiting for health care. Just not the ones with fat wallets.

 
At 3/10/2010 6:37 AM, Anonymous geoih said...

Quote from Anonymous: "This man will be dead in a few months. His wallet has now been transferred to America. Well done US Health Service."

We will all be dead, eventually. The "US Health Service" (whatever that means) doesn't owe this guy, or anybody else, anything. $100,000 obviously seemed worth the risk to this guy. If that's what the surgery cost, then that's what it cost. It makes no difference who happened to pay for it.

The 'crime' is that the government lied to him that they would pay for his healthcare through their program, but when it came time for him to receive his benefit, they reneged. Without the government lie, he would have known up front that his healthcare was his problem, and he probably would have saved some time in his treatment (and also gotten a better price, because the system wouldn't be distorted by so much government intervention).

 
At 3/10/2010 7:21 AM, Blogger Colin said...

So does this mean Canada has death panels?

 
At 3/10/2010 9:53 AM, Blogger Frozen in the North said...

60% of all personal bankruptcy in America are caused by medical expenses (I know only about 1% of Americans go bankrupt -- but you brought it up).

The reality of health care everywhere is that some form of rationing has to take place.

At some point an oncologist decided that the specific procedure was not worth it (yes that rationing), it would have extend the patient's life marginally (as an example) and it was decided that the procedure was not appropriate.

On a personal note, I am certain that if I was in the patient shoes I would want to do everything, absolutely anything to extend my lifespan -- even if it was for another week, it's the only one I've got.

Decisions on healthcare are at times difficult.

 
At 3/10/2010 10:25 AM, Blogger juandos said...

"60% of all personal bankruptcy in America are caused by medical expenses"...

Hmmm, from the always questionable Harvard studies mill , eh?

example

example

I'm thinking that ANYTHING coming from Harvard should be questioned...

 
At 3/10/2010 11:40 AM, Blogger Frozen in the North said...

Yeah I new the 60% would get up your nose, but really lets say that its 50%, or 40%. Frankly I though you would attack with the fact that only 1% of Americans declare bankruptcy. Much more important that 50% of 1%.

The argument is that health care in Canada also causes bankruptcy, therefore it is recognized that health care bankruptcy is a problem in America. Frankly I though it was a 1/3 of personal bankruptcies that were cause by health care, I was surprised that it was as HIGH as 62%.

To Colin;

Yes and No, Canada has clear rules and procedures on patient treatment (as does the US by the way), how do you determine who gets a new liver or a lung???? Somebody (doctors usually) make a decision on the health being provided to the individual.

 
At 3/10/2010 2:12 PM, Blogger OA said...

Frozen in the North said...
60% of all personal bankruptcy in America are caused by medical expenses (I know only about 1% of Americans go bankrupt -- but you brought it up).



They actually claim "62.1% of all bankruptcies have a medical
cause." Not that medical expenses accounted for that much bankruptcies.

That was for a sample from 2007, and it includes "income loss due to illness." Which they define as losing at least 2 weeks of income due to illness. That's not the same as being overwhelmed by health care expenses.

Note that they also compared to a prior 2001 study but "we adopted a definition of medical bankruptcy that utilizes
the more detailed 2007 data. We altered the 2001 criteria to
include debtors who had been forced to quit work due to
illness or injury." Basically they seem to have focused on medical expenses in the prior study, then added loss of income for the recent one.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/politics/documents/american_journal_of_medicine_09.pdf

If they ran it again for 2008 or 2009 it would be s very different result. 2006 and 2007 had abnormally low bankruptcy filings after the change in bankruptcy laws in 2005. Today regular job loss would be a leading cause as it was historically.

Number of filings:
http://www.bankruptcyaction.com/USbankstats.htm

 
At 3/10/2010 3:54 PM, Anonymous Mika said...

Okay, in Canada you may have to wait a month or two for some procedures. In the U.S. you just may never get the procedure at all because your insurance company cuts you off or you cannot afford any insurance at all.

 
At 3/10/2010 4:28 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"In the U.S. you just may never get the procedure at all because your insurance company cuts you off or you cannot afford any insurance at all."

Hey Dumbo,

He got the proceduce in the US.

 
At 3/10/2010 5:06 PM, Anonymous Lyle said...

For Anon at 4:28 this just points out that if you have enough money you can get whatever medical treatment you want (may have to travel to get it) Its just that when you ask society or your insurance provider to pay for treatment there is a decision if the treatment is worth it to the group/society.
Folks like those on the Forbes 400 don't have to worry about the issue, as they can pay.

 
At 3/11/2010 8:51 AM, Blogger rjs said...

makes you wonder why sarah palin used to go to canada for her family's health care

 
At 3/11/2010 12:26 PM, Anonymous DOuglas2 said...

Skagway AK is about equidistant from Whitehorse and Juneau. It looks like travel to Whitehorse can be done via road.
I recall seeing a comparitive study of bankruptcy causes in the US and Canada that found no statistical difference between the incidence of medical-related (debt, loss of work etc.) causes between the two countries. As mentioned above, the US bankruptcy laws have changed radically in recent years causing a spice and then a dip, so the US numbers could be showing or hiding a lot of more elective/strategic bankruptcies depending upon which year you pick.

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home