Thomas Ramey Watson

Beware the lies meant to scare us away from universal health care

André Picard

Montreal — From Thursday’s Globe and Mail (click on the line for the full story)
Last updated on Thursday, Jul. 30, 2009 01:15PM EDT

Shona Holmes has become a central figure in the bitter debate about U.S. health-care reform.

The Waterdown, Ont., woman is featured in a TV ad telling her tale of horror – how she had a life-threatening brain tumour but would have had to wait months for treatment.

So Ms. Holmes remortgaged her home and flew to the Mayo Clinic in Arizona for treatment, paying $97,000 cash for her care.


But a few important details are missing from the “commercial” version of this socialized-medicine-kills tale.

Ms. Holmes did not have a deadly brain tumour, she had a benign Rathkes cleft cyst.

Yes, she had vision loss, but it was temporary and reversible.

This is not to suggest what she went through was not awful and frightening, but it was not life-threatening.


[M]edicare – universal state-financed health insurance – means everyone is worthy of care and entitled to


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