If we nationalize health care, more celebrities will die!

Conservatives opposed to health care reform say Natasha Richardson's death was due in part to Canada's system.

Topics: Healthcare Reform, War Room,

On any given day, I get a lot of e-mails from publicists. Some are silly, some are embarrassingly unprofessional, most are completely unrelated to what I cover. Occasionally, one is downright shameful — callous, even offensive. One of those landed in my inbox today. The headline of the pitch is, “NEWS REPORTS REVEAL NATASHA RICHARDSON’S DEATH MAY HAVE BEEN PREVENTED WITH U.S. HEALTHCARE.” And yes, the point of the e-mail is that socialized medicine killed Richardson, whose fatal skiing accident occurred in Canada.

Normally, I’d just have ignored this, but apparently this theme is gaining increasing traction. The Chicago Tribune carried an op-ed about it earlier this week, and the piece was picked up by the New York Post yesterday. Michelle Malkin ran with the issue in a post on her blog today. Last week, the American Spectator’s Matthew Vadum wrote, “Did the fact that Canada has a socialist, government-run healthcare system — similar to the kind that President Obama wants to ram down the throats of Americans — kill acclaimed actress Natasha Richardson?

You Might Also Like

“The short answer is yes, it may very well have done so.”

The key questions are whether the hospital Richardson went to had a CT scanner and whether a flight in a medical helicopter to a hospital with better facilities, rather than the long ambulance ride Richardson took, would have made a difference.

It turns out, contrary to what the Tribune op-ed said, that there was a CT scanner at the first hospital Richardson went to and she did in fact receive a scan. The lack of a helicopter, however, is a legitimate problem. But critics of Canada’s system have gone too far, claiming that there’s no medivac system in the whole of the country, which isn’t true.

I note those arguments and counterarguments just to give readers some background — but, frankly, I’m not nearly as concerned with them as I am with the fact that we’re discussing this at all. When did we get to the point that we can’t even let a family grieve without turning their loved one’s death into fodder for our own political debates?

Alex Koppelman is a staff writer for Salon.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Martyna Blaszczyk/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 1

    Pond de l'Archeveche - hundreds thousands of padlocks locked to a bridge by random couples, as a symbol of their eternal love. After another iconic Pont des Arts bridge was cleared of the padlocks in 2010 (as a safety measure), people started to place their love symbols on this one. Today both of the bridges are full of love locks again.

    Anders Andersson/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 2

    A bird's view of tulip fields near Voorhout in the Netherlands, photographed with a drone in April 2015.

    Aashit Desai/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 3

    Angalamman Festival is celebrated every year in a small town called Kaveripattinam in Tamil Nadu. Devotees, numbering in tens of thousands, converge in this town the day after Maha Shivratri to worship the deity Angalamman, meaning 'The Guardian God'. During the festival some of the worshippers paint their faces that personifies Goddess Kali. Other indulge in the ritual of piercing iron rods throughout their cheeks.

    Allan Gichigi/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 4

    Kit Mikai is a natural rock formation about 40m high found in Western Kenya. She goes up the rocks regularly to meditate. Kit Mikai, Kenya

    Chris Ludlow/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 5

    On a weekend trip to buffalo from Toronto we made a pit stop at Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. I took this shot with my nexus 5 smartphone. I was randomly shooting the falls themselves from different viewpoints when I happened to get a pretty lucky and interesting shot of this lone seagull on patrol over the falls. I didn't even realize I had captured it in the shot until I went back through the photos a few days later

    Jassen T./National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 6

    Incredibly beautiful and extremely remote. Koehn Lake, Mojave Desert, California. Aerial Image.

    Howard Singleton/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 7

    Lucky timing! The oxpecker was originally sitting on hippo's head. I could see the hippo was going into a huge yawn (threat display?) and the oxpecker had to vacate it's perch. When I snapped the pic, the oxpecker appeared on the verge of being inhaled and was perfectly positioned between the massive gaping jaws of the hippo. The oxpecker also appears to be screeching in terror and back-pedaling to avoid being a snack!

    Abrar Mohsin/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 8

    The Yetis of Nepal - The Aghoris as they are called are marked by colorful body paint and clothes

    Madeline Crowley/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 9

    Taken from a zodiac raft on a painfully cold, rainy day

    Ian Bird/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 10

    This wave is situated right near the CBD of Sydney. Some describe it as the most dangerous wave in Australia, due to it breaking on barnacle covered rocks only a few feet deep and only ten metres from the cliff face. If you fall off you could find yourself in a life and death situation. This photo was taken 300 feet directly above the wave from a helicopter, just as the surfer is pulling into the lip of the barrel.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>