Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Palin in Whitehorse

Apparently Sarah Palin used to sneak her family across the Alaska-Yukon border to take advantage of Canada's health care system in Whitehorse. It must have taken some real courage considering all the death-panels and child killing socialists, but I definitely understand why she chose to take her family to Whitehorse.

My own experience with health care in Whitehorse has been almost too good to believe. When working in the north last summer I got tendinitis. Considering how I was planning on returning south to study jazz piano in the fall, I took it fairly seriously. I went to the hospital, which seems like a newly built facility, and waited for maybe 15 minutes to see a doctor, who seemed generally happy to have a patient to treat. A year before, I accompanied April to the hospital and had pretty much the same experience.

Having mostly lived in Montreal for the past few years, I'm under no illusion that the Canadian system has serious problems, particularly in Montreal where minimum wait-times, in my experience, were 3 hours, and where it's practically impossible to get a family doctor. Quebec, with a language barrier to attracting English speaking North American doctors, has special challenges, but similar problems are everywhere in Canada.

Except in Whitehorse. The 33 thousand people living in the Yukon Territory have really gotten a great deal for themselves, though obviously you don't have to be there very late into the winter before seeing why it takes some extra incentives to get people to stay.

Considering that the Whitehorse system was the one Palin had experience with, you can't help wondering how she was under the impression that single payer was really so bad. In Whitehorse, it's practically utopian. What's more likely: she wasn't. Conservative politics around US health reform has always seemed disingenuous. Palin is just not very good at hiding it.

No comments:

Post a Comment