CNN Aims to Discredit Canadian Mayo Clinic Patient, Flops Spectacularly

Updated below the fold

In a recent news package liberal journalists at CNN --in this case Dana Bash and Lesa Jansen-- attempted to discredit a Canadian brain tumor patient who received treatment in the U.S. after being told by Canada's health care system to shut up and take her place in line.

They were unable to actually discredit Shona Holmes of Waterdown, Ontario, but did manage to find another patient who claims to have received speedy treatment following a cancer diagnosis.

It should surprise no one that CNN ignored Canada's preeminent authority on government health care rationing, the Vancouver-based Fraser Institute, which has demonstrated time and time again that on average Canadians have to wait a long time before receiving medical treatment for serious ailments. (See PDF file of the Fraser Institute's "Waiting Your Turn: Hospital Waiting Lists in Canada," 2008 Report, 18th edition.)

Patients United Now, which is a project of Americans for Prosperity Foundation, is now running an effective TV ad (available here) opposing President Obama's socialist health care scheme.

It features Holmes, who came to the U.S.-based Mayo Clinic, to have a brain tumor removed. Canada's dysfunctional government-run health care system informed Holmes that she would have to wait for six months to see a specialist. "In six months I would have died," Holmes says in the spot. The Mayo Clinic where Holmes received successful treatment tells her story at its website. Mayo is also fiercely critical of ObamaCare.

CNN also managed to extract a quote from Canadian Sen. Hugh Segal. Segal is what's known in Canada as a "Red Tory." In other words he may belong to the Conservative Party but he's ideologically a liberal with very little in common with American conservatives. Not surprisingly, this soulmate of Lincoln Chafee defended Canada's universal health care system.

Segal, who would feel perfectly at home in America's Democratic Party, told CNN his "fellow conservatives" in the U.S. are dead wrong about Canada's health care system. "What you have is a longer life span, better outcomes and about one-third less costs. That's what you have," said Segal.

Note: I updated this post July 22 around 3 p.m. It was pointed out to me that the condition that Shona Holmes suffered from, Rathke's cleft cyst, is not cancer, so in the interests of accuracy I changed the description in the lede above from "cancer patient" to "brain tumor patient." I was also told that a patient suffering from this condition is not considered to have a brain tumor. This is an arguable technical point for scientists to debate and therefore there is no reason to change the description in this post. The Mayo Clinic referred to Holmes as having a brain tumor and I relied on that description. Holmes herself spoke of her "brain tumor" in the CNN report. The CNN report itself refers to her condition as a "brain tumor" in the second paragraph. The larger point here is that if the condition had not been dealt with promptly Holmes could well have gone blind. Her government-run health system was perfectly content to let this happen to her. -MV

Health Care CNN Dana Bash
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