Feel The Bern! No Right To Health Care In Canada

220px-Tom_PriceOn Wednesday, I watched the Senate’s Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions (HELP) Committee’s courtesy hearing for Dr. Tom Price, MD, whom President-elect Trump has nominated to be the next United States Secretary of Health & Human Services. As a game of “gotcha,” the hearing played out predictably.

However, Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) stood out for asking a pointless “question” (actually a statement), which was because it was based on an error. As he has many times, Senator Sanders made the false claim that health care is a right in Canada and other countries outside the United States. According to Mr. Sanders, this is a unique stain on the United States. With respect to Canada, it is simply and plainly not true that health care is a “right.”

By “not true” I do not refer to the fact that an American standard of health care is not available to ordinary Canadians (due to long waiting times), but that those who enforce Canada’s single-payer system have insisted in court no such right exists.

The claim was made in the Supreme Court of British Columbia in February 2009, in the case known as Cambie Surgical Center et al. v. Medical Services Commission et al. Cambie Surgical Center offered orthopedic surgery outside the single-payer system for private payment. The Medical Services Commission is the agency which operates the provincial single-payer system.

Contrary to Senator Sanders’ claim, it was the private clinic which asserted a legal claim that its patients had a right to pay for surgery. It was the government agency which denied it. Don’t believe me. Read it on page 5 of the agency’s statement to the court: “there is no freestanding constitutional right to health care.”

It does not get more straightforward than that.

Comments (5)

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  1. Lee Benham says:

    Why just look to our friends to the north?

    How is healcare deliverd to our southern neighbor ?
    While private hospitals account for 2/3 of all hospitals in Mexico with 2,988 institutions, less than 10% of the Mexican population has private insurance coverage, paying for care mainly “out of pocket”.

    The U.S. healthcare system is subsidized by a third party bill paying service and not insurance .

    As I right this I’m sitting in a operating waiting room an people are checking in for treatment.

    The people are all asked if they can pay their out of pockets today they will wave 10%

    That’s not how insurance contracts work.
    Insurance companies issue a contract to have the insured pay first dollar coverage called a deductible before the insurance company pays. Then the company and the insured share cost up to a max dollar out of pocket called a coinsurance. If the hospitals discounts the insured out of pocket then the insured will never hit their max out of pocket
    According to their insurance contract .

  2. Ron Greiner says:

    Obamacare means bigger Medicaid. WASHINGTON — Ohio Gov. John Kasich warned Republicans in Congress against any delay in replacing Obamacare, saying any lag time after repealing the health care law would have “serious consequences.”

    In a letter to GOP leaders Thursday, Kasich also asked GOP leaders not to repeal the Medicaid expansion, which has allowed 700,000 Ohioans to gain coverage. That request is sure to be controversial, since most Republicans want to nix Obamacare in its entirety.

    But Kasich says that would be a mistake.

    Loser Kasich is wrong because Medicaid is way too expensive.

    Senator Rand Paul says states that want bigger Medicaid should start raising taxes for it.

  3. Ron Greiner says:

    Rand Paul told Dr. Price about that Socialist Sanders, “It’s interesting that those who say we have no compassion, you know, extol the virtues of socialism. And you look at a country like Venezuela, with great resources and an utter disaster where people can’t eat, devolving into violence. I think it’s important that we do have a debate ultimately in our country between socialism and communism and America and capitalism.”

    American socialists think they are nice…fools.

  4. Ron Greiner says:

    OK — Obama is history and he didn’t pardon Hillary.