Supporters of single-payer healthcare continue their efforts to promote the system in the U.S. but a critic says a sad and preventable case in Canada puts another dent in the argument for government-run healthcare.
Erin Humiston of the Texas-based Institute for Policy Innovation points to the case of British Columbia citizen Sean Tagert, who was not only fighting ALS but also health care provider Vancouver Coastal Health that refused to fully fund the 24-hour health services Tagert required.
Tagert’s own cost: $8,000 a month.
“The VCH administrators actually showed up to his home to announce they’re going to further cut funding to his care,” Humiston says, “and by that point Tagert was tired. He was exhausted from this fight with the government, and so he chose to end his life by physician-assisted suicide, which unfortunately is another aspect, a dark underbelly of socialized medicine in Canada.”
In a related op-ed published online at The Hill, Humiston points out that presidential candidate Sen.Elizabeth Warren has used the primary debates to tell the story of Ady Barkan, a single-payer activist with ALS who has promoted “Medicare for all” in testimony before Congress and on ABC News “Nightline.”
“Medicare for all means that we get high quality comprehensive healthcare through Medicare,” Barkan told the news program, “with no copays or deductibles or premiums.”
Yet the government-run program, Humiston warns, will stand between doctors and patients, and tell both of them there is a limited amount of dollars for their medical needs.
That, says Humiston, is what happened to Sean Tagert.