Via The Canadian Press:
An unapologetic Danny Williams says he was aware his trip to the United States for heart surgery earlier this month would spark outcry, but he concluded his personal health trumped any public fallout over the controversial decision.
In an interview with The Canadian Press, Williams said he went to Miami to have a “minimally invasive” surgery for an ailment first detected nearly a year ago, based on the advice of his doctors.
“This was my heart, my choice and my health,” Williams said late Monday from his condominium in Sarasota, Fla.
“I did not sign away my right to get the best possible health care for myself when I entered politics.”
Williams said he didn’t announce his departure south of the border because he didn’t want to create “a media gong show,” but added that criticism would’ve followed him had he chose to have surgery in Canada.
“I would’ve been criticized if I had stayed in Canada and had been perceived as jumping a line or a wait list. … I accept that. That’s public life,” he said.
“(But) this is not a unique phenomenon to me. This is something that happens with lots of families throughout this country, so I make no apologies for that.”
Williams said his decision to go to the U.S. did not reflect any lack of faith in his own province’s health care system.
“I have the utmost confidence in our own health care system in Newfoundland and Labrador, but we are just over half a million people,” he said.
“We do whatever we can to provide the best possible health care that we can in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Canadian health care system has a great reputation, but this is a very specialized piece of surgery that had to be done and I went to somebody who’s doing this three or four times a day, five, six days a week.”
But if CanadaCare really is so great – – – –
Oh, hell. Nevermind.
Rob Port astutely notes:
Two things of note there. First, he acknowledges that lots of Canadians are forced to leave their state-controlled health care system to get the care they need.
Second, he also seems to be alluding to Canadian political leaders apparently being able to “cut in line” on the Canadian waiting lists for care.
All Canadians are equal, I guess, except that some Canadians (the ones who can afford to come to America for care, or the ones who get to “cut in line” in Canada) are more equal than others.
It’s the “separate but equal” version of healthcare, you see – just like it will soon be here, if O and Co. have their way about it.