Canada

Canadian Effort to Bring Patients Banned from U.S. Faces Restrictions on Sick People Entering Canada

Canada can reject you based not just on how sick you are but how much the illness will cost the state.

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Onasill

Among the people banned from entering the United States for at least the next six months are many patients who had arranged for healthcare services in the country. The United States has among the best (and still the freest) healthcare systems in the world, and is the destination for many sick people with the need for specialized care often not available in their home countries.

More than 30 patients have been identified by hospitals around the country as being now unable to travel to the U.S. to receive care for which they had arranged. Canadian officials are stepping in, ostensibly to help these patients, especially those that are children, access healthcare in Canada instead.

"These children are being turned away solely because of where they were born," Ontario health minister Dr. Eric Hoskins said in a statement, according to Buzzfeed, which in its headline characterized Canada as stepping in despite Hoskins being a provincial minister. "As Ontarians, we have an obligation to respond when we know we have the ability to help."

What Buzzfeed doesn't mention is that Hoskins will likely have to get some kind of exemption from the Canadian federal government to actually get the patients into Canada. That's because Canada bans entry by foreign nationals who are sick, not only when they are "likely to be a danger to public health or public safety" but also if they "might reasonably be expected to cause excessive demand on health or social services," meaning if your illness is pricey you may not get in. This has led to a number of high-profile immigration rejections by Canada, including of a South African doctor who wanted to settle in Canada but was denied because her child's autism would cost taxpayers too much money, and a Costa Rican family whose child had Down's Syndrome.

Canada's draconian immigrant health policies are a reminder of what makes the American system so special, on immigration and healthcare. The U.S. has historically been more open to immigrants than countries like Canada that know how to posture when a political opportunity is present. A largely still private, if not heavily regulated, healthcare system means the government does not have to find itself making decisions on how to treat human beings based on how much their ailments cost.

President Trump's executive order, largely built on previous troubling policies and ideas, challenges America's special systems. His immigration policies are centered around the idea of "America First." For now, many people find that palatable, that the U.S. should "take care" of Americans before it takes care of foreigners. This is the start of a slippery slope, one neither party has been shy about before but which Trump approaches with unique non-chalance and without even lip service to the idea of America as a free country. First the government insists it'll "take care" of Americans first, eventually it will insist on which Americans to "take care" of first, relying on criteria like what you "contribute" to society or the State, and eventually, as the Canadian example illustrates for us, how much you cost the government. The idea that government owes Americans something other than staying out of their way and not violating their rights has been popular in the U.S. for a long time—Trump embraces this nanny state paternalism unabashedly and without pretense to higher ideals.

Patients unable to access healthcare for which they had already arranged are also an example of how President Trump's travel ban interferes not just with the lives of foreigners but Americans too—a government action has thwarted contracts into which free people entered voluntarily. The history of U.S. government, especially in recent decades, has largely been about inserting itself into the voluntary, peaceful relationships people have with each other, often under that guise of "taking care" of us. It's not less of a significant deterioration in the freedom of association, already in poor shape in this country, when it extends to foreigners. Neither do previous government attacks on that freedom justify current ones.

h/t P. Honeyman

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  1. That’s because Canada bans entry by foreign nationals who are sick, not only when they are “likely to be a danger to public health or public safety” but also if they “might reasonably be expected to cause excessive demand on health or social services,” meaning if your illness is pricey you may not get in.

    Sorry Border Services Agency, you’re going to have to do double duty as Canuckistan’s Death Panel.

    1. We don’t do Death Panels, we do Waiting List Thunderdome. 2 patients enter MRI waiting list, but only 1 leaves.

      1. Leaves in a bodybag on a stretcher?

      2. Best show on the CBC.

  2. Patients unable to access healthcare for which they had already arranged are also an example of how President Trump’s travel ban interferes not just with the lives of foreigners but Americans too?a government action has thwarted contracts into which free people entered voluntarily.

    See? This is how you do a winning argument.

    1. With the three percent of people that think people can enter into any contract they want to? Countries can control who enters the borders end stop.

      1. Is that a claim about morality or reality?

      2. No one is disputing what bureaucracy can get in the middle of. The argument is should.

    2. Yup. If they had valid care lined up, there should be a way to get it. Through the “case by case” exceptions as stated in Trumphitlers EO perhaps. The Buzzfeed article gets its info from a linked article from STAT News. Who is that? Never heard of it. I am not sure what source to believe anymore.

  3. Canada’s draconian immigrant health policies are a reminder of what makes the American system so special, on immigration and healthcare.

    You jelly, yokeltarians?

    The U.S. has historically been more open to immigrants than countries like Canada that know how to posture when a political opportunity is present.

    Oh look, Americans ignorant about Canadian history. Tell me, what year was your Chinese Exclusion Act again?

    We have, of course, never accepted refugees.

    Nor has the United States ever harboured an ethnic immigrant terrorist minority while our ethnic immigrant minority was well behaved.

    1. So jealous of the USA. Sad.

      And the Fenians only wanted to hold onto Canada long enough to trade it for Ireland. It’s not like they wanted the place long-term.

      1. I was unaware that hostage taking isn’t terrorism if you promise to release them when you get what you want.

        1. For some reason, it’s never terrorism when Irish do it ?\_(?)_/?

          1. Fucking Taigs.

            1. Wow, that degenerated quickly, I was simply trying to indulge some harmless Canada-bashing…

              1. (In reality, the Fenians were deluded fanatics, but you won’t catch me saying that out loud)

                1. Will you give me your woad?

              2. If there’s an activity more Canadian than piling on the Irish….

                well, it’s piling on the Americans. But you people are so much better at it, you drain all the fun out of it.

                1. If there’s an activity more Canadian than piling on the Irish….

                  Piling on the French, if you’re English?

                  In Ottawa years ago I was talking to an old loyalist university professor, late 70s, about the local history. And he starts talking about how the French Canadians and the Irish used to have gang wars all over the place over jobs in the lumber industry.

                  Of course he ended it with “and nothing of value was lost.”

                  1. Also, despite my use of 19th century derogatory names for the Irish and jokes about how they’re not really human, I don’t completely hate them.

                    An Irish girl may have broken my cold, uncaring heart…

                    1. …so she said she liked a guy with a sense of humor, but when you told her the one about the Irishman’s dilemma of eating the potato now or drinking it later, she got all huffy?

                    2. Not being an Archer fan is legitimate grounds for divorce, even in Catholic church.

                    3. +1 Irish seven-course meal.

    2. Oh look, Americans ignorant about Canadian history. Tell me, what year was your Chinese Exclusion Act again?

      I guess by “historically” Ed means “since 1990, when green card lottery was created”.

      Which, looking up, I found two hilarious facts about
      a) It’s officially called Diversity Visa program
      b) It was sponsored by H&R hero, Chuck Schumer.

      1. MURICAN EXCEPTIONALISM means you don’t have to actually know anything about a country before making sweeping generalizations about any of its historical policies.

        Well, to be fair, Schumer crying actually makes sense now, Trump just shot his legislation baby.

      2. BTW… The lottery has been closed to China every year I’ve checked because we already have too many of ’em.

        1. Wikipedia says that what makes it “Diversity” is that it’s for countries that had fewer than 50,000 immigrants (defined as a subset of all immigrants from that country, because law)

          For DV-2018, natives of the following nations are ineligible: Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Peru, Philippines, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam.

          1. So if you’re a single person from one of those countries without any relatives already here, you’re basically SOL.

            1. weeell….you can still apply for any of the visa programs that other countries also have (student, work, permanent resident).

              Diversity Visa is a literal lottery where you have to jump through exactly one hoop – add your name to the draw pile and hope you win. It’s a fairly unusual process (don’t want to say unique to the US).

              1. Yeah and to be fair, a single person from any country is greatly disadvantaged – IIRC, most (permanent) immigrants settle in the US thanks to relatives or marriage.

        2. Oh, grass dirt horse.

  4. A government taking care of its own citizens first is a “slippery slope?”

    Suck my dick you fucking moron.

    1. The government’s not supposed to “take care” of anyone. You’re an adult, take care of yourself. Also, jeez, how do you miss every single piece of context around that one point? Is it a bot?

      1. Back at these people then I guess. They should have taken better care of themselves.

        1. Now, wait a minute. It seems like they had it handled. They had engaged in healthcare commerce to deal with whatever in their bodies was broke.

          I’m not an open borders guy but I am for free enterprise. I recognize there are areas where these two things are in conflict but Krayewski is at least making the libertarian argument.

      2. The government’s not supposed to “take care” of anyone.

        Amen Ed. Put that bumper sticker on the office fridge please. Remind the open borders evangelists of that every time they get a Perrier. Or is it Smart Water these days?

      3. Therein lies the problem. Banishing the notion that gov’t’s to take care of people is well nigh impossible, but trimming it back in selected ways like excluding certain persons is taken as reinforcing the impossibility of banishing it.

        1. I still think that might be the best shot at approaching abolition, though. In the USA, abolition of white slavery paved the way for abolition of all slavery. Maybe we can keep excluding & excluding until only a minority is eligible, & then they’ll be outvoted.

    2. The government’s not supposed to “take care” of anyone. You’re an adult, take care of yourself. Also, jeez, how do you miss every single piece of context around that one point? Is it a bot?

      1. “The political direction and control exercised over the actions of the members, citizens, or inhabitants of communities, societies, and states.”

        Pulled directly from the dictionary.

      2. I don’t know Ed: “The idea that government owes Americans something other than staying out of their way and not violating their rights has been popular in the U.S. for a long time?Trump embraces this nanny state paternalism unabashedly and without pretense to higher ideals.”
        Kind of a statement that needs citations, IMHO.

    3. A government not allowing citizens to take care of themselves is a slippery sinkhole.

  5. For the millionth time – Canada’s system is cost-centric and by virtue of this it rations health.

    But American progressives – in their commitment to destroy everything – in their infinite ignorance want to copy our interpretation of *compassionate* care.

    America: Keep your eye on the ball and repeal Obamacare.

    1. with their commitment.

    2. Yep. If you want a fun experience, check out the difference between a visit to the doctor in the public system and a visit to the dentist in the private system. Night and day, old equipment vs. new, rationing vs. customer service. The dentists even have better chairs.

      1. Heck, I just go to a private clinic period – of course, they’re under a tight leash.

      2. But, but, but, you have to pay for the dentist, the doctor is freeee!

        I’m sure that a lot of Americans who want us to be “like Canada” do not realize that dental care is not included in Canadian Medicare. Neither is birth control (some provincial plans may cover it but AFAIK most provinces handle it with their means-tested welfare system).

  6. Hey Ed – first of all, I like the article. It seems more and more that despite their different politics, Trump and Trudeau are united in their preference for posturing and pandering over protecting the rights of the citizens and other residents of their countries.

    That said, I have to ask (understanding that there may be much you can’t say): has the… turmoil in this here comment section of late been noticed/discussed around the reason office? I’ll say while i have stark disagreements with most of the hardcore anti-reason faction, I think some of their criticisms have merit and don’t necessarily boil down to just bitching because reason won’t kowtow to Trump (though there is some of that).

    If you have any thoughts on the matter you feel you can share I’m sure many others beside myself would want to hear them.

  7. Good article. If I may be chauvinistic (reverse-chauvinistic?), a series of “Real Canada vs Canada in Left’s Heads” articles might be good for some page views.

    1. This. Let’s talk about the wonders of public healthcare, a bad constitution, First Nations policy, and hate speech legislation.

      1. Or the “generosity” of various provincial welfare systems? Lack of federal minimum wage? No federal educational standards?
        You could run Buzfeedy article after article on “This comparison of progressive policy in Canada vs United States will shock you!”

        1. How the popular vote doesn’t equate to Parliamentary seats? (not saying that’s a good idea)

          No wait, Liberals are in power, no one cares.

          1. Elizabeth May cares…she cares so much!

            Somewhere, a noble beaver sheds a single tear.

            1. Please for to not use words “Elizabeth May” and “beaver” in same sentence. (Unless you’re talking about those front teeth of hers. She could whittle the statue of David with those things.)

            2. Tears make the pelt softer, he’ll make a fine hat.

              Say what you will about May, she’s better than the other crazy Elizabeth.

          2. I remember after one of the early aughts UK general election Tony Blair claimed a “mandate’.

            Well, yeah, Labour got a majority of seats, but nationally they only got 37% of the popular vote.

        2. Not to mention that every province provides shitty health care in their own special way. Yeah, *that’s* something that the Americans wanna emulate…

          1. Honestly, it’s probably better than continent-wide single shitting up, NHS-style.

            1. Actually, in Britain, to the extent that the NHS “works” it does so because of decentralization.

              As I have pointed out here before, the extent to which welfare states “succeed”, they do so because of various common interests that only exist in small homogeneous populations.

              In England, authority for the NHS has been a hodgepodge of regional or district health authorities (which are constantly being “reorganized” by Parliament with mixed results). The net result of this decentralization has been that if you live in the right region or district you will likely get very good care, while if you live in the wrong region or district you will likely get very poor care (this is known as the postcode lottery).

              Meanwhile, Scotland (pop 5M+) and Wales (pop 4M+/-) operate separate health systems. So while the money comes from the national government control of day to day operations is local.

              The result is a wide variation in the quality of care.

      2. Bill 101 and the Notwithstanding Clause.

        How Canada ranks ahead of the U.S. on this Freedom Index rankings I don’t understand.

        1. If you want something positive, Corporate Tax Rate: A Study in Contrast might explain part of it!

          1. I was going to add economically we seem to be less bureaucratic; less so in Quebec though because of Rev Que.

      3. And our glorious Human Rights Tribunals, for when your feels are really hurt.

  8. Zoolander killed grandma.

  9. Ah, I can just taste the delicious proggie tears when they realize that their beloved Canada is every bit as cold-hearted as USA! USA! USA!

    Anything that makes Trulander look like an idiot will also bring a smile to my face. It’s a win-win.

    Well, ‘ceptin’ for the sick people. Poor buggers.

    1. Why did Canada end the investor immigrant program? It would have been perfect to taunt proggies with.
      At least Quebec still lets plutocrats buy their way in

      1. Oh Pan. I was *assured* politicians don’t get ‘preferential’ treatment or cut the line.

        1. They do not.
          Anyone with legally obtained net worth of $1.6 million, who is willing to have Quebec government invest $800,000 in their name for five years is eligible.

          1. I misunderstood. I was more referring to the system in general.

  10. “…making decisions on how to treat human beings based on how much their ailments cost.”

    There totally won’t be death panels in a system where someone other than the patient is footing the bill.

  11. “Among the people banned from entering the United States for at least the next six months are many patients who had arranged for healthcare services in the country”
    I stopped reading here; the delay is for 90 days. My calendar says that is (barely) less than three months.

  12. Fun fact. A Canadian friend has been waiting 8 months for a new knee.

    I am not convinced by the contractual harm line of argument. International trade is always subject to the vagaries of border crossings.

    An unwillingness to tolerate a temporary disruption is a typical excuse to avoid change. Suck it up, buttercup.

  13. That’s because Canada bans entry by foreign nationals who are sick, not only when they are “likely to be a danger to public health or public safety” but also if they “might reasonably be expected to cause excessive demand on health or social services,”

    How is Canada not the most racist country in the world? I mean, what with all their ID checking and what not.

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