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Wednesday, 5 September, 2007

Quads' Montana birth give Americans ammo

When the Calgary Health Region , they probably didn't expect to invite the kind of razzing they've brought upon not only the Calgary hospital system, but also the Canadian healthcare system as a whole.

The Canadian Press provides a round-up of :

  • "We've heard much talk about Canada's `free' health-care system, glorified in Michael Moore's documentary Sicko. But the birth of the Jepp sisters are case in point that Canada's medical system is as flawed as ours, just on the other end. As our congressmen debate the future of our health-care system, we urge them to keep cases such as the Jepps' in mind." - Great Falls Tribune
  • "I'm sure Canadians like their health system. Just remember, though, that Canada's backup system is in Montana. Great Falls has enough neonatal units to handle quadruple births and a `universal health' nation doesn't." - Charleston (West Virginia) Daily Mail
  • "Canadians love their health care – in Montana. [...] Universal health care is a pretty edifice to cover the ugly reality of rationing treatment within a bureaucratic monstrosity. Great testimony for single-payer health care: Can't handle a C-section, can't find any room at neonatal intensive care units, has to fly mothers in labour to a small town in the savage land of only half-governmentalized care just so they can bear children." - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
  • "More proof socialized health care doesn't work." - Powerline News blog
  • "The precious gift of American citizenship comes to the Jepp quads because there were no hospital facilities anywhere in Canada able to handle four neonatal intensive care babies. Not in Calgary, a city over a million people, the wealthiest in Canada, or anywhere else in Canada. However, Great Falls, a city of well under 100,000 people, apparently had no problem." - Blue Zeus blog

The Calgary Health Region made a rather meek protest in the CP article: "They don't have all the facts and information, obviously," said Don Stewart.

Jack Goldberg of the Canadian lobby group Friends of Medicare put it better: "I think we need to appreciate that it's because of our publicly insured system that this couple was able to get access to a hugely expensive service in the United States that may very well be denied to tens of millions of Americans. So even what happened there is a point in favour of our system – that these people were able to get there."

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In a rather surreal twist, the quadruplets have also attracted the attention of none other than Art Garfunkel. The proceeds from , both part of the Jepp father's company's Green Planet Concert Series, .

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