KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

Fact Check: Canadian vs. U.S. Systems; AARP Claims

The Associated Press examines rhetoric and reality in the case of a Canadian who came to the U.S. for health care. The AP reports: "Shona Holmes is the Harry and Louise of this year's health care debate, only unlike the fictional folks who memorably trashed the Clinton-era health plan in advocacy ads 15 years ago, Holmes is real. But her story? It's not quite the slam-dunk indictment of socialized medicine that's been portrayed by Republican lawmakers and their allies."

"Holmes, a Canadian living under that country's single-payer system, has said flatly that her brain tumor would have killed her if she'd accepted her fate in Canada - a wait of four months for one specialist and six months for another. Instead she went to the U.S. and had successful surgery. But she never had cancer - a fact routinely omitted by the advocates who have seized on her case. Technically, she didn't have a tumor, either. She had a benign cyst that was apparently threatening her eyesight. Holmes' decision to come to the U.S. exposed her both to the best of American health care and the worst: its capacity for prompt, advanced treatment for complicated conditions, and its staggering expense" (Woodward, 9/30).

Politifact checked up on several claims regarding AARP, and found one about AARP and its sales of insurance "half true"  and another, involving Humana and AARP's message to seniors, "false" (Holan, 9/30). 

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