Over at National Review Online, a couple of the bloggers on The Corner are going gaga over Justin Bieber.
First, it was Daniel Foster praising Bieber for his impersonation of President Obama on Conan last night. Truth be told it was pretty good.
Then a few hours later, Kathryn Jean Lopez got downright dreamy over Bieber because he told Rolling Stone, “I really don’t believe in abortion.”
However, in that same interview, the Canadian born teen idol who now resides in Atlanta was asked if he plans to become an American citizen. Bieber quipped, “You guys are evil,” in reference to the health care system in the United States. He went to state:
We go to the doctor and we don’t need to worry about paying him, but here, your whole life, you’re broke because of medical bills. My bodyguard’s baby was premature, and now he has to pay for it. In Canada, if you’re baby is premature, he stays in the hospital as long as he needs to, and then you go home.
The Huffington Post praised the 16-year-old singer for making “a surprisingly astute observation.” Quel surprise.
Now I know Bieber was using the term “evil” in a flippant, tongue-in-cheek manner. However, things aren’t quite that simple. There is no free lunch. Now a patient might not directly pay a phyisician at the doctor’s office but Canadian doctors are most certainly compensated for their services through the health care plans in the province in which they practice. For instance, a doctor who practices in Bieber’s hometown of Stratford, Ontario is compensated by the Ontario Health Insurance Plan (OHIP) funded by the taxpayers in Ontario and by transfers from the Government of Canada. Of course, not all medical services are covered by OHIP. Thus health care in Canada is rationed.
Now as someone who lived in Canada for more than a quarter century, I can state unequivocally that the Canadian health care system has its virtues. But I can also unequivocally state the Canadian health care system has its shortcomings. One of the most significant problems are the waiting lists. They are a fact of life whether its in the emergency room, diagnostic procedures or for surgery.
So heaven forbid a premature infant should require paediatric heart surgery. And if that child lived in Stratford, he or she would have to wait 107 days for the procedure to be performed at the Stratford General Hospital. But what if that child can’t wait 107 days? If the procedure could be performed in Detroit, Cleveland or Buffalo immediately you can bet that child’s parents would move heaven and earth to get their child off Canadian soil. For all the U.S. health care system’s faults, under those circumstances, I would hesitate to call it “evil.”
But if Mr. Bieber considers the U.S. health care system so evil why doesn’t he (or whoever handles his business affairs) provide his employees with health insurance?