Hip replacements

CANADIAN HIP REPLACEMENTS….Well, Kevin warned us back in April.

[H]ere’s a handy rule of thumb: any time a healthcare article starts nattering on about hip replacement waiting times in Canada, just stop reading. The authors are cherry picking so egregiously it’s a wonder their fingers haven’t fallen off.

With that in mind, I give you David Gratzer’s piece in today Wall Street Journal:

Canadian doctors, once quiet on the issue of private health care, elected Brian Day as president of their national association. Dr. Day is a leading critic of Canadian medicare; he opened a private surgery hospital and then challenged the government to shut it down. “This is a country,” Dr. Day said by way of explanation, “in which dogs can get a hip replacement in under a week and in which humans can wait two to three years.”

On a more substantive healthcare note, the president and congressional Dems are facing off on whether, and to what extent, State Children’s Health Insurance Program (S-CHIP) should be expanded to include more children from middle-income families. Bush is repeating a predictable canard “government-run healthcare,” and insisting that his proposed changes to the tax code would cover more kids.

The truth is, the divide isn’t between public and private; it’s about guaranteed standards. Brad Plumer explains.

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Steve Benen

Steve Benen is a producer at MSNBC's The Rachel Maddow Show. He was the principal contributor to the Washington Monthly's Political Animal blog from August 2008 until January 2012.