Socialized health care in Canada: "Free" for all, bad for all

President Barack Obama (D) and his minions are pushing for the magically "free" government health care similar to that enjoyed by Canada, our neighbors to the north, and our enlightened European allies, to be paid for by taxing those selfish enough to earn more than $250,000 a year. . .oh, wait $200,000 uhm no, even less depending on who says what, when.

Meanwhile Mark Steyn , in NRO, helpfully provides some glimpses of life under Canada's free health care. Citing a report  from Hamilton, Ontario's Spectator about a 3 1/2 month premature baby weighing slightly more than two pounds rushed off to the foreign land of private health care in Buffalo, N.Y. because not one neonatal intensive care unit was available for miles around in her native land, Steyn summarizes

Well, it would be unreasonable to expect Hamilton, a city of half-a-million people just down the road from Canada's largest city (Greater Toronto Area, 5.5 million) in the most densely populated part of Canada's most populous province (Ontario, 13 million people) to be able to offer the same level of neonatal care as Buffalo, a post-industrial ruin in steep population decline for half a century.

But apparently lack of neonatal intensive care hospital beds is fairly routine in "free" health care accessible for all Canada.

A second area mom has also been separated from her children since being turned away from McMaster's NICU, which is closed to new admissions about 50 per cent of the time.

Christina Holjevac had to leave her 12-year-old twin boys in Beamsville to follow her daughter, born 13 weeks premature at McMaster May 16, to Ottawa. Hamilton's NICU couldn't take her two-pound, two-ounce preemie named Lauren Catharine Hope Trottier and Ottawa had the closest open bed.

Holjevac has been there six weeks -- getting her own postpartum care at Ottawa emergency rooms -- waiting for her baby to be transferred back to the Hamilton area.

Most of the time she is alone because her husband had to come back home to work to pay the bills.

Bills? Work? Hmmm, this seems to hint that one way or another the free care is actually quite expensive.

And is American health care quite as awful as Obama & Co insist? A few months ago Dr Scott W. Atlas discussed 10 Surprising Facts About American Health Care in an article for the National Center for Policy Analysis. Among these "surprising" facts:

1: Americans have better survival rates than Europeans for common cancers. (snip)

2: Americans have lower cancer mortality rates than Canadians. (snip)

3: Americans have better access to treatment for chronic diseases than patients in other developed countries. (snip)

4: Americans have better access to preventive cancer screening than Canadians. (snip)

5: Lower income Americans are in better health than comparable Canadians. (snip)

6: Americans spend less time waiting for care than patients in Canada and the U.K. (snip)

7: People in countries with more government control of health care are highly dissatisfied and believe reform is needed. (snip)

8: Americans are more satisfied with the care they receive than Canadians. (snip)

9: Americans have much better access to important new technologies like medical imaging than patients in Canada or the U.K. (snip)

10: Americans are responsible for the vast majority of all health care innovations.

Meanwhile, to those Canadian women planning to have a baby in a year or the maternity ward, pediatric ward in Canada now. Or else get a passport so you can take care of your health care needs safely and quickly in the US of A. before we too--oh please, no!--descend to your level of health care.