Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Compare and Contrast

Via Hot Air comes the story of Juana Tejada:

The 38-year-old came to Canada in 2003 under the federal live-in caregiver program, which grants permanent resident status to domestic workers after they complete their three-year assignments and obtain the necessary medical and criminal-record clearances.

Her cancer was found in 2006, during an exam for her immigration application. Tejada appealed to immigration officials to waive the good-health requirement for humanitarian reasons.

"While I am sympathetic to your situation, I am not satisfied that these circumstances justify granting an exemption," a case processing officer in Alberta wrote in the latest decision. "In the opinion of a medical officer, this health condition might reasonably be expected to cause excessive demand on health and social services."

What is this? Canada is trying to minimize the demands on their health and social services? But but but ... didn't Michael Moore make a movie criticizing the US, and holding up Canada as a shining beacon of light?

Moore is trying to rouse Americans to action on an issue most of us agree about, at least superficially. You may know people who will still defend the Iraq war (although they're less and less eager to talk about it). But who do you know who will defend the current method of healthcare delivery, administered by insurance companies whose central task is to minimize cost and maximize shareholder return?Americans of many different political stripes would probably share Moore's conclusions at the press conference: "It's wrong and it's immoral. We have to take the profit motive out of healthcare. It's as simple as that."

Oh, it's the profit motive that makes American healthcare evil. So, that Canada just can't afford to treat Juana ... that's ok.

But Moore's overall point is, I think, inarguable: Flawed as they may be [ed. the Canadian, British, and French], those systems are a hell of a lot more humane and civilized than anything we've got.

Just remember, Canada's system is more humane and civilized than ours.

"Juana has respected and followed all of our laws to the letter. If not for her cancer, she would have already been a permanent resident and realized her dream," said her immigration lawyer, Rafael Fabregas.

"Is it right to kick her out of Canada now because she is dying?

"While it may be legal, I don't think it's right. It would be manifestly inhumane."

Tejada and her husband, who is here on a visitor's visa, have until Aug. 8 to leave the country.

Of course, some may disagree.