Cherie Black of the Seattle P-I took the opportunity to inform readers of a liberal cancer patient's political stunt: putting out a personals ad looking for a Canadian man to marry, for health care, of course.
But while Black breezed past Canadian angst over American Jeanne Sather's hopes of cashing in on love and free health care, the P-I reporter failed to mention a prominent Canadian pol who recently went to the United States for cancer care.
As Susan Delacourt noted in the September 14 Toronto Star:
OTTAWA–Belinda Stronach, the MP for Newmarket-Aurora and former cabinet minister, travelled outside Canada's health-care system to California for some of her breast cancer treatment earlier this year.
Stronach, diagnosed in the spring with a type of breast cancer that required a mastectomy and breast reconstruction, went to California in June at her Toronto doctor's suggestion, a spokesperson confirmed.
Delacourt noted that it's "unusual for a federal politician to travel outside Canada for private medical treatment" but cited a Stronach aide who said that Stronach's doctor advised her on getting treatment in California:
Speed was not the issue, MacEachern said – it was more to do with the type of surgery she and her doctor agreed was best for her, and where it was best performed. The type of cancer Stronach had is called DCIS, ductal carcinoma in situ, one of the more treatable forms.
Hmm. One of the more treatable forms of breast cancer found in a politically-connected Canadian from a wealthy family, and she still went to America to pay out-of-pocket for the surgery. Sounds like Michael Moore's "SiCKO" in reverse!
Stronach is hardly a back-bencher no-name in Canada. She previously served on former Liberal Prime Minister Paul Martin's cabinet after defecting from the Conservative Party and was rumored in 2005 to have had romantic dalliances with former President Bill Clinton.
Despite Stronach's B-list political celebrity and friendship with Clinton, her travel stateside for cancer treatment went unnoticed by the Post-Intelligencer's reporter. Indeed, Black made just one brief reference to a lengthy queue for cancer treatment in Canada:
She immediately received a lot of attention -- some of it critical. Many Canadians chastised her for wanting a part of their system, for which they pay high taxes and often have long waits to receive care.