The Corner

Congratulations, It’s a . . . Cross-Border Incident!

Somewhere in America Alone, I cite an example of the logical reductio of socialized health care: “the ten-month wait for the maternity ward.” I’ve been adding to the file ever since. Here’s the latest entry, from Hamilton, Ontario:

Hamilton’s neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) was full when Ava Isabella Stinson was born 14 weeks premature at St. Joseph’s Hospital Thursday at 12:24 p.m.

A provincewide search for an open NICU bed came up empty, leaving no choice but to send the two-pound, four-ounce preemie to Buffalo that evening.

Well, it would be unreasonable to expect Hamilton, a city of half-a-million people just down the road from Canada’s largest city (Greater Toronto Area, 5.5 million) in the most densely populated part of Canada’s most populous province (Ontario, 13 million people) to be able to offer the same level of neonatal care as Buffalo, a post-industrial ruin in steep population decline for half a century.

But wait! The fun and games are only just beginning. When a decrepit and incompetent Canadian health bureaucracy meets a boneheaded and inhuman American border “security” bureaucracy, you’ll be getting a birth experience you’ll treasure forever:  

Her parents, Natalie Paquette and Richard Stinson, couldn’t follow their baby because as of June 1, a passport is required to cross the border into the United States. They’re having to approve medical procedures over the phone and are terrified something will happen to their baby before they get there.

Once Buffalo enjoys the benefits of Hamilton-level health care, I wonder where Ontario will be shipping the preemies to. Costa Rica?

We now return you to your 24/7 Michael Jackson coverage . . .

Mark Steyn is an international bestselling author, a Top 41 recording artist, and a leading Canadian human-rights activist.

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