The recent anti-Obama political ad running on television features Shona Holmes, who asserts that because of untimely access to care in Canada, she had to have surgery in the United States. Her implication is that she was scheduled for treatment of a brain tumor at such a distant date that she would have died. If true, this would indeed be a strong condemnation of the Canadian health care system and its physicians.
The ad, however is a lie. With a little research, I discovered the true story.
Ms. Holmes had Rathke’s cleft cyst, a benign condition. She chose to seek treatment at a major U.S. medical clinic. She had successful cyst removal on Aug. 1, 2005. The surgery cost about $100,000.
In September 2007 she sued the Ontario government for the expenses related to the American treatment. As of 2009, the suit remained pending. That same year her story was entered into the congressional debate on health care reform by U.S. Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Ky. It was debunked at that time in Canada and in America.
Ms. Holmes’s medical records are not open to the public, so details are scant. Her story has been removed from the International Patients section of the clinic webpage.
One thing is certain, however. Her claim that the doctor said, “Your wife will be dead by September,” means that either she or the doctor lied.
Lying seems to be a major component of the Republican approach in this ad. Americans for Prosperity, funded by some $27 million from the billionaire Koch brothers, concludes by falsely implying that the American insurance-based, private market-run system under Obamacare resembles the government-run health care system of Canada.
It is to be hoped that it can eventually achieve the standards-based results of the Canadian, or Swiss, or (you-get-the picture) systems. America should be No. 1 in low infant mortality rates, low cancer death rates, longevity, access to care, etc., and last in bankruptcy rates due to medical bills.
Glenwood Springs is really uptown with our ultra-modern Calaway-Young Cancer Center. What a marvelous facility we have in our city, thanks to foresight, planning and hard work.
My father-in-law, Carleton Hubbard Sr., was one of the businessmen to envision a hospital in Glenwood Springs in 1955. These men and women worked hard to raise the money to build Valley View Hospital. Carleton Sr. served as a member of the first board of directors.
My husband, Carleton “Hub” Hubbard Jr., served on the Valley View Foundation Committee.
I served on the board of directors of the hospital during the late 1970s and early 1980s. It was when we had our first recession, in 1981, and the hospital didn’t know if we would sink or swim, but swim we did.
We were approached to lease our bare land to a psychiatric hospital for 99 years. After much discussion, we decided to keep the property for our future use, and look what we have now. l am proud to see how we have expanded and grown.
l am proud to be a Hubbard and a part of this community.
We have one of the finest medical facilities on the Western Slope.
Thank you, Valley View Hospital, for your foresight and for producing the “new kid on the block.”
Miriam “Mim” Hubbard
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