Monday, July 27, 2009

The Dangers of Canadian Style Healthcare

[Blogger Nate Peele, from the terrific site interviewed me on health care. As a service to my constituents, here is that interview in its entirety.]

As you know, Congressman Jack Kimble (R-CA) has been an occasional contributor to my blog. He’s been very outspoken on Twitter(@RepJackKimble) lately about health care reform and the dangers of a Canadian style socialized medicine. I was lucky enough to be able to arrange a phone interview with Congressman Kimble about this subject that is very important to both of us.

Nate: Thank you for agreeing to this interview congressman. I think your contributions to the blog have really helped give me legitimacy as a blog.

Kimble: Thank you Nate. I’m always happy to talk to the media and with C-Span playing favorites, I’ve had a hard time getting my message out to the people of this United States and to the soldiers who keep this great land of ours safe also.

Nate: Yes, I too would like to say, “support our troops”.

Kimble: Thank you for doing that Nate. It means a lot to me.

Nate: Now, you have some serious problems with Canadian health care I know. I do too. I dated a very beautiful Canadian girl who lived in Canada throughout high school and college. She was pretty enough to be a model and in fact did do some wallet and picture frame work. She was extremely into me and we tried to make the long distance thing work, but I finally had to break up with her because of Canadian health care.

Kimble: Why would you break up with a girl you obviously liked over Canadian health care.

Nate: The problem was every time she’d be coming down to visit me and meet my friends, she’d undoubtedly come down with something and have to cancel at the last moment. It made me look very bad to my friends and that put a terrible strain on my relationship.

Kimble: Actually, that’s not an uncommon story. Especially with attractive young Canadian women and some men.

Nate: I’m going to have to play Obama…I mean devil’s advocate here.

Kimble: :::laughing::: Nice one

Nate: What do you say to people who say that the Canadian health care system is much cheaper than the United States?

Kimble: That’s not quite true. While Americans pay 16% of our GDP for health care, Canadians spend 10.1% of theirs.

Nate: So Canada’s system is considerably cheaper?

Kimble: Not exactly. You see the life expectancy of an American is 77.1 years while in Canada the life expectancy is 80.7 years. That’s 3 extra years of taxes that the average Canadian has to pay for their health care. In the end it very much evens out.

Nate: I hadn’t thought of it that way.

Kimble: You should. It’s not just doctors either. Dentistry in Canada is affected too. Watch an NHL game sometimes and look at how many of the Canadian players are missing teeth.

Nate: Wow, there are a lot. You explanation of the cost imbalance makes a lot of sense, but anybody can present statistics. Do you have any anecdotes to help support your case?

Kimble: Yes, I do. There’s a very brave Canadian woman by the name of Shona Holmes.

Nate: The woman in the commercial with the terminal brain tumor?

Kimble: Actually, she made the brain tumor part up, but anyway at 31 years old she was diagnosed with a Rathke’s Cleft Cyst on her pituitary gland.

Nate: Wow! That sounds serious.

Kimble: It is. A Rathke’s Cleft Cyst is a benign tumor that can cause dizziness and even blindness if it isn’t treated and the Canadians wanted her to wait a month for treatment so she paid $100,000 out of pocket to go to Arizona and get it removed.

Nate: She had to pay out of her own pocket, that’s terrible. How do you explain that 85% of Canadians are happy with their health care system?

Kimble: Would you like the NFL to have 3 downs instead of 4?

Nate: No, of course not.

Kimble: Would you like to eat your french fries with brown gravy or vinegar?

Nate: Not if my life depended on it.

Kimble: How about the metric systme?

Nate: Oh heck no.

Kimble: The Canadians are happy with all of those things.

Nate: Wow, they really aren’t very bright.

Kimble: No they’re not. They make great lumberjacks, defensemen, or mounties, but you sure wouldn’t want to ask one to do math.

Nate: Good point. I know this may be a touchy topic, so you don’t have to answer this, but how do you respond to people who say that the big reason you’re so against socialized medicine is because insurance company lobbyists donate heavily to your campaign?

Kimble: I don’t mind answering. Look, it takes a lot of money to run for office in this country. I get a lot of money from insurance company lobbyists, but I always make it clear up front that it won’t affect my vote. Some of the most despicable people on the planet contribute to my campaign–pay day loan guys, crack dealers, companies that knowingly make defective baby toys. You think I am beholden to all those people?

Nate: Well no of course not, you’d never be reelected.

Kimble: Exactly Nate.

Nate: Thank you for agreeing to this interview congressman.

Kimble: Thank you Nate. You asked some real tough questions. I like that.

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