Close Close

Life Health > Health Insurance

Planes, trains and heart surgery

Your article was successfully shared with the contacts you provided.

Damn Canadians … comin’ over the border and stealing all our good health care. A co-worker’s parents were connecting through Minneapolis when his father suffered a heart attack. He was seated in the back of the plane before take-off, and they were able to quickly reach the defibrillator. Apparently if you have a heart attack at a major metropolitan airport, Minneapolis is the place to do it. They have some sort of top-notch trauma center with lots of machines that go “ping.” They induced a coma and cooled his body to hypothermic levels to reduce internal damage. That was on a Sunday earlier this month. One week later, he was back on a plane headed home. Similar story – my mother had open heart surgery to remove a benign tumor and flew from Boston to Denver two weeks later to visit her grandchildren.

I realize the debate is about the delivery of affordable care. My mother has quality health care and my co-worker’s father has a combination of the Canadian government and travel insurance to thank for his. Still, with Director of the Office of Management and Budget Peter Orszag admitting health reform has no strategy for cost containment, just a series of “small experiments,” and that prices might not fall for “years or even decades,” what exactly is the point of monkeying with the miracle of modern medicine? And make no mistake, a miracle it is …