Clicking on banner ads enables JWR to constantly improve
Jewish World Review June 5, 2000 /2 Sivan, 5760

Michelle Malkin

JWR's Pundits
World Editorial
Cartoon Showcase

Mallard Fillmore

Michael Barone
Mona Charen
Linda Chavez
Ann Coulter
Greg Crosby
Larry Elder
Don Feder
Suzanne Fields
James Glassman
Paul Greenberg
Bob Greene
Betsy Hart
Nat Hentoff
David Horowitz
Arianna Huffington
Marianne Jennings
Michael Kelly
Mort Kondracke
Ch. Krauthammer
Lawrence Kudlow
Dr. Laura
John Leo
David Limbaugh
Michelle Malkin
Jackie Mason
Chris Matthews
Michael Medved
Kathleen Parker
Wes Pruden
Debbie Schlussel
Sam Schulman
Roger Simon
Tony Snow
Thomas Sowell
Cal Thomas
Jonathan S. Tobin
Ben Wattenberg
George Will
Bruce Williams
Walter Williams
Mort Zuckerman

Consumer Reports

Tom Green's hidden
health-care lesson -- TOM GREEN, a young Canadian comic known for his gross-out humor, exposed his entrails on MTV last week. Yuck. Green, 28, had his right testicle and lymph nodes removed this spring after being diagnosed with testicular cancer. He brought a camera crew to film the surgery at the University of Southern California. The heavily promoted television special featured Green chasing his sidekick with dirty hospital linens, and brandishing a jar of his sperm. Now, Green is raising funds for cancer research over the Internet, and serenading his teen- and college-age fans with a crude ditty on the importance of self-examinations.

Too bad MTV's left-wingers missed the real story. Beneath the Ottawa-born comedian's scatological humor and disease du jour didacticism lies an important message for American youth: Be thankful you don't live in Canada. Government-run health care is more frightening than any stunt Tom Green has ever pulled. Waiting lists are long; specialists are in short supply; and medical technology is kept in the Dark Ages. For the famous, wealthy and well-connected, relief from the Canadian universal health-care system's ills is spelled: "U-S-A."

Green's mom scoured the Internet for the best American specialists money could buy when her son developed painful symptoms in January. Her search led to the USC Medical Center. Green was diagnosed there with testicular cancer in early March. Four days after receiving the diagnosis, top-notch surgeons removed his tumorous right testicle. One week later, after a CAT scan of his lymph nodes showed no signs of cancerous cells, Green's doctors went ahead and dissected his lymph nodes -- just to make sure the disease hadn't spread.

"The weird part is how quickly all of this has happened. In three months, I found out I had cancer, I got rid of the cancer, and now, I'm recovering from cancer," Green reflected in an interview published by the Ottawa Sun.

Green's recovery is neither weird nor accidental. Survival rates for testicular cancer have skyrocketed from less than 50 percent two decades ago to greater than 90 percent today. Early detection through physical examination is key; ultrasound technology then helps determine whether a lump is a cyst or a solid mass. Speedy appointments with alert specialists and competent surgeons help ensure positive outcomes like Green's.


Canadian patients, however, must endure terminal waiting lines, shoddy treatment and severely rationed care. In the short time it took Tom Green to be diagnosed, screened with ultrasound and CAT scans, and operated on twice in the United States, a typical Canadian man would still be waiting to see a urologist for an initial consultation.

The Fraser Institute, a Vancouver, British Columbia-based think tank, publishes an annual waiting-list survey. According to the most recent data, 212,990 Canadians were waiting for surgical procedures in 1998 -- a 13 percent increase from 1997. The average wait between referral to a specialist by a general practitioner and receipt of treatment was 13.3 weeks; in 1993, the total average waiting time was 9.3 weeks. For a urology appointment, the Fraser Institute's Martin Zelder told me, the typical waiting time is 4.9 weeks. The median wait for an ultrasound was 2.9 weeks across Canada -- an 11.5 percent increase over 1997.

In Tom Green's home province of Ontario, the Canadian Medical Association Journal recently reported, 121 residents were permanently removed from the list for coronary artery bypass grafts because their condition had deteriorated irreversibly while waiting for treatment. Koreans and Czechs have better access to computerized tomography than Canadians do. And even as the Canadian government brags about the superiority of its health-care delivery system, British Columbia subsidizes ferry rides, accommodations and medical costs for cancer patients who must cross the border into Washington state for radiation treatment they can't get at home.

Hopeless defenders of the single-payer system blame lack of money for its failure. But Canada ranks fifth out of 29 industrialized countries in terms of health-care spending as a percentage of GDP. The problem is not funding. It's lack of freedom. Under the Canadian regime, bureaucrats -- not doctors, patients or hospitals -- set fees, make purchases, and allocate resources. Politics inevitably infect these decisions, overriding the best interests of the sick and needy.

The deadly effect of government-controlled health care is no joke. Tom Green is living proof that the free market offers the best medicine.

JWR contributor Michelle Malkin can be reached by clicking here.


06/01/00: Farming out the pork
05/30/00: The perils of medical quackery
05/26/00: Awarding medals by race is a disgrace
05/22/00: Have Simon & Schuster execs lost their minds!?
05/17/00: Sports plebes vs. plutocrats
05/15/00: Whitewashing Red China's record
05/12/00: Our mothers' hands
05/08/00: Focus on the real Waco
05/05/00: An Internet victim's sad story
05/03/00: Phony pooh-bahs of journalism
05/01/00: Zoo tragedy triggers dumb reaction
04/24/00: Ecoterrorists on the loose
04/19/00: Beware of Elian's psychobabblers
04/17/00: The truth about Erin Brockovich
04/13/00: In defense of an armed citizenry
04/10/00: Playing hardball with taxpayers
04/06/00: Read W.'s lips: More new spending
04/04/00: The liberal media-in-training
03/31/00: Sticking it to the children
03/28/00: Declaring war on HOV lanes
03/22/00: Clinton and the Echo Boomers
03/17/00: Is Bush a Liddy Dole Republican?
03/13/00: Katie and the politics of disease
03/10/00: Maria H, Granny D, and the media Z's
03/07/00: Bubba Van Winkle wakes up
03/03/00: Double standard for day traders?
02/28/00: Sluts and nuts --- and our daughters
02/24/00: Zoning out religious freedom
02/15/00: The Baby Brain Boondoggle
02/10/00: Buddhist temple untouchables
02/08/00: CDC: Caught Devouring Cash
02/04/00: Hillary's poisoned poster child
02/01/00: Corporate welfare on ice
01/28/00: The silly sound of silence
01/26/00: The Old Media meltdown
01/20/00: The pied pipers of KidCare
01/18/00: Our imperious judiciary
01/14/00: Tune out Columbine chorus
01/12/00: Dying to be an American
01/10/00: Time for smokers' revolt?
12/30/99: Reading, writing, PlayStation?
12/27/99: Fight money-grubbing mallrats
12/23/99: Christmas for Cornilous Pixley
12/20/99: Who will help the Hmong?
12/16/99: Shame on corn-fed politicians
12/13/99: EPA vs. the American Dream
12/09/99: Look behind the Pokemon curtain
12/06/99: Amateur hour in Seattle
11/30/99: Stop the Ritalin racketeers
11/23/99: Welfare for a sports fatcat
11/19/99: Jeb Bush's political ploy of the week
11/16/99: Ben & Jerry serve up junk science
11/12/99: A monumental waste of our veterans' resources
11/10/99: Tax-and-spend schizophrenia
11/05/99: Spooky Guy Haunts the Capital
11/02/99: Mourning the loss of the last Liberty Tree
10/27/99: AOL goes AWOL on parents
10/22/99: The persecution of Harry Potter
10/20/99: Don't doctor the law
10/14/99: The trouble with kids today
10/12/99: Pro-animal, pro-abortion, anti-speech?
10/07/99: Beltway press corps needs more skunks
09/30/99: ESPN overlooks athlete of faith, grace, and guts
09/27/99: Personal freedom going up in smoke
09/15/99: Farewell, "Miss" America
09/10/99: Will George W. work for a color-blind America?
09/03/99: Feminization of gun debate drowns out sober analysis
08/27/99: America is abundant land of equal-opportunity insult
08/10/99: Protect the next generation from diversity do-goodism
08/04/99: Sweepstakes vs. state lottery: double standards on gambling
07/21/99: "True-life tales from the Thin Red Line" (or "Honor those who sacrificed their lives for peace")
07/21/99: Reading, 'Riting, and Raunchiness?
07/14/99: Journalists' group-think is not unity
06/30/99: July Fourth programming for the Springer generation
06/25/99: Speechless in Seattle
06/15/99: Making a biblical argument against federal death taxes

© 2000, Creators Syndicate