It’s a different system

IT’S A DIFFERENT SYSTEM…. One of the more exciting stories of the day among many conservatives is this Reuters report about new cost pressures in the Canadian health care system.

Pressured by an aging population and the need to rein in budget deficits, Canada’s provinces are taking tough measures to curb healthcare costs, a trend that could erode the principles of the popular state-funded system. […]

[Ontario] has introduced legislation that ties hospital chief executive pay with the quality of patient care and says it wants to put more physicians on salary to save money.

In a report released last week, TD Bank said Ontario should consider other proposals to help cut costs, including scaling back drug coverage for affluent seniors and paying doctors according to quality and efficiency of care.

Conservatives couldn’t be more pleased, apparently because they see these developments north of the border as an embarrassment for the Democrats’ Affordable Care Act. Republican Sens. John Barrasso (Wyo.) and Tom Coburn (Okla.) are also making the connection.

It’s been a while, so perhaps it’s time for a quick refresher, highlighting two key details.

First, the new health care law in the United States creates a system that isn’t similar to the Canadian system at all, so condemning the Affordable Care Act by pointing to Canadian budget problems doesn’t make sense.

Second, conservatives actually seem to believe their own rhetoric, which is more than a little disconcerting.