Sunday, July 26, 2009

Shona Holmes is a Liar

We’ll have a lot more to say about the whole “health care” discussion as promised, but in the meantime I wanted to mention to our US readers that they may have recently seen some propaganda ads against the “Public Option” health plan starring a Canadian woman named Shona Holmes. They may also have seen a recent CNN “Reality Check” on Canada’s health care system that tried (at least) to debunk the spurious claims of liar Mitch McConnell, but IMO fell short of telling the whole story.

The more egrigious the two is Ms. Holmes, who makes numerous completely false claims (as well as serious sins of omission) in her story, but CNN (even as they tried to set the record “straight”) is guilty of incomplete and somewhat misleading journalism as well.

If you’re interested in learning the truth about Holmes and CNN’s report, here’s a very good “Reality Check” on their “Reality Check.” I might suggest that after reading it, you forward it to the president of CNN (@jonklein on Twitter), or to CNN via their “news tips” as a good basis for some follow-up reporting. I appreciate that CNN at least tried to debunk the most spurious of these claims, but they really didn’t go anywhere near far enough.

Canadian media are going to have to get a lot more aggressive about defending this country from the slander and libel the Republicans and insurance industry have been flinging our way. It’s not our intent to propose or advocate that the US adopt a Canadian-style healthcare system necessarily (though we happen to think it’s a fine idea, having experienced both), but more to combat the ridiculous lying about Canada, its people and its system that’s going on down there. Undoubtedly the US will ultimately come up with something at least a little different than what Canada uses as a model, but the malicious smearing of this country and one of its biggest points of pride (which is superior in almost all respects to the US system) is just criminally irresponsible.

ADDENDUM: Even more specific info about Ms. Holmes and her “condition” available here. Quelle surprise, turns out none of her claims are true.

As an aside to those who know us: Do any of you really think we would have moved somewhere where we get less or worse healthcare than we got in Florida?? Of course we didn’t.


Margaret said...

Our health care system has some flaws, but it works in most cases.

There is a local story about a woman who had a back problem and didn't want to wait to get the required surgery here at home, so she travelled to the Mayo clinic in Rochester. There, she was diagnosed and promised treatment from the best doctor for the job.

The Mayo Clinic promptly made arrangements for Dr. X, a famous back surgeon, to fly down from - you guessed it - Regina to perform the operation.

The story goes on to estimate the woman's out of pocket expenses in the neighbourhood of $200K for an operation she could have had at home for free.

On top of her out of pocket expense, she managed to expand the wait time for others waiting on the services of Dr. X while he was away in Minnesota.

I haven't been able to verify the claims of this story, but I suspect it has happened more than once.

Bryan said...


I'd love to hear some of the kinds of things people from the US are asking you about our system.

Chris said...

Sadly, we see and hear misleading ads that are outright lies, when dealing with our health care system, virtually every election. Look, Canada's system is far from perfect. There will always be changes needed, upgrades made, better opportunities for innovation. This is why we should debate substantive issues around the delivery of health care.

I only note that the US debate is just that, a US debate. It is rude and improper for Canadians to insert themselves into it, just as it is rude an improper for Americans to insert themselves into our debates or drag us into their process. Americans don't need a Canadian health care system, they need an American health care system that addresses their essential needs as they define them. Clearly, their current approach isn't working too well.

Of course, to be callous, if the US insists on building in a huge competitive disadvantage for its economy while it tries to compete with the rest of the civilized world, then, fine. We'll just have to take advantage of it.

Mindy K said...

Hey, your blog is still up! How have you been? I'm still at BHN - not much has changed here.

Sorry to clutter up your blog with chattiness! I don't have your email address.

Take care!