Now that the Democrats’ health care reform package has passed Congress and is sure to be signed into law, wealthy Canadians will need to start looking for somewhere else to travel for surgery.
Earlier this year Danny Williams, the premier of the Canadian province of Newfoundland traveled to Miami for heart valve surgery. As Sally C. Pipes explains in a San Francisco Chronicle article: “With his trip, Williams joined a long list of Canadians who have decided that they prefer American medicine to their own country’s government-run health system when their lives are on the line.”
In an interview defending his decision, Williams said “This is my heart. It’s my health and it’s my choice.” Williams, a millionaire, has the resources to make a choice that most Canadians don’t have.
Pipes writes that 40,000 Canadians travel to the United States each year for medical reasons. But as big-government health care reform starts to drag down American health care to that of the level of Canada, we can expect to see that number decline.
Medical tourism is a benefit to Wichita’s economy. Galichia Heart Hospital in Wichita offers a wide variety of surgical procedures — not just heart surgery — to people willing to travel to Wichita. The hospital has a website — Galichia Medical Tourism — complete with prices for some procedures. A promotional video on the site specifically mentions categories of surgery that Canadians are finding difficult to obtain in their own country.
Will Galichia be able to maintain this business after the full effect of Obama-style health care reform is realized? Will we have a health care system that Canadians will want to use? It will take some time to know the answer.