Andrew Samwick on Health Care and the U.S.-Canada Border
Andrew Samwick notes a family driving five miles from Calgary to Great Falls, Montana to deliver quadruplets:
Vox Baby: Perhaps Michael Moore Should Run a Taxi Service: I don't know which of the following statements is more surprising. From the AP:
A 35-year-old Canadian woman has given birth to rare identical quadruplets, officials at a Great Falls[, Montana] hospital said Thursday. Karen Jepp of Calgary, Alberta, delivered Autumn, Brooke, Calissa and Dahlia by Caesarian section Sunday afternoon at Benefis Healthcare, said Amy Astin, the hospital's director of community and government relations.
The four girls were breathing without ventilators and listed in good condition Thursday, she said. Wonderful. And this part:
The Jepps drove 325 miles to Great Falls for the births because hospitals in Calgary were at capacity, Key said.
"The difficulty is that Calgary continues to grow at such a rapid rate. ... The population has increased a lot faster than the number of hospital beds," he said.
For those of you unclear on the geography, their trip... would take about five hours.... About halfway through the trip, they would pass through Lethbridge, which is home to Chinook Regional Hospital, which claims to offer a "high level neonatal intensive care unit." Not good enough? No beds there either? When they were in Lethbridge, they were about an hour away from Medicine Hat, home to this fine institution and its NICU, or two and a half hours plus a border crossing away from Great Falls. They chose the latter.
But nobody says who paid for it...