A Canadian Politician Gets Heart Surgery in Miami: Does This Mean Socialized Medicine Sucks?

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Earlier this month, Danny Williams, the head of government in Canada's Newfoundland province, traveled to Miami Beach to receive heart surgery at Mount Sinai Medical Center.

Cue the predictable right-wing response taking digs at Canada's publicly funded, liberal-loved health-care system: "We keep hearing how terrible and awful the American health-care system is compared to the Canadian one. So why is he coming here?"

Well, some reports indicate it might have had more to do with warm weather and vanity than the quality of each country's health care.

Williams, a popular politician from Canada's center-right Conservative Party, has responded to criticism, saying, "This is my heart, it's my health, and it's my choice."

He credited Canada's health-care system with diagnosing his heart problem and says his doctors recommended he go out of province to receive the surgery.

John Geddes of Macleans points out Canada offers the heart surgery that Williams needed and in fact offers world-renowned surgeons, but also points out something perhaps more telling: Williams has a condo in Florida where he's currently recovering, and the variation of the surgery offered at Mount Sinai left less scaring.

That type is offered in Canada, but under caution because the chances of complications --including strokes -- are higher.

So basically the brouhaha here shouldn't indicate that America's health-care system is any better or worse than Canada's (by the way, the World Health Organization says Canada's is better, but we digress), but it's probably because Williams wanted less scaring and to recover in Florida's warm weather.


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