Conservative group's ad compares American health care to Canada's system
September 3rd, 2012
08:43 PM ET
2 years ago

Conservative group's ad compares American health care to Canada's system

(CNN) - The conservative group Americans for Prosperity on Monday announced it would spend just over $6 million to run in eleven states an ad hitting President Barack Obama's health reform law.

The 60-second spot features a woman, Shona Holmes, who said she turned to the U.S. medical system for treatment of her brain condition when the wait for a specialist would have been too long under the system in her country, Canada.

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"I knew then that the system had become far more dangerous for patients than I had ever realized," she says in the ad.

As she speaks her next line ("the American system was there for me when I needed it"), text on the screen says that "under President Obama, America's health care is becoming more like the Canadian system that failed Shona."

Holmes says she was told by a doctor that she "would be dead" by the time of an appointment she had scheduled in Canada, but the ad does not link that line to the spot's criticism of Obama's health care reforms. A video that a liberal group released as an ad earlier this year was criticized for connecting a woman's death with GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

Americans for Prosperity said it had purchased $6.2 million of airtime to run the ad, which it said is the capstone in a series of four ads on which it spent $27 million. One of the spots hits Obama over his campaign pledge to reduce federal government deficits.

In August, CNN reported the group had bought $20 million of time in nearly a dozen states, including some in which the latest spot will run.

The spot will be played in Colorado, Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Mexico, Ohio, Virginia, Wisconsin, and North Carolina, the group said.

– CNN's Gregory Wallace and Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report


Filed under: 2012 • Canada • President Obama
soundoff (69 Responses)
  1. Brian

    Thank God for Canada's health system. In America, when my little cousin's illness maxed out the $1 million policy the family had, her pre-existing clauses kicked in and her family was denied health care in America. Solution? They moved to Canada. Her father became a Canadian citizen and found the necessary health care to save her life. When America rejected her and told a little girl to go die, Canada saved her.

    September 3, 2012 08:58 pm at 8:58 pm |
  2. Af

    hypocrite , the Obama care is the best thing ever for the average american. Don't lie because Karl Rove paid you. Obama2012 is a victory for USA

    September 3, 2012 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  3. muffinTop

    How much did they pay her for that bit of nonsense information. America should be so lucky to have a health care system as Canada. It is by far the best anywhere. Ask Sarah Palin. Remember, she used to sneak into Canada for health care when she couldn't afford it in good old America? Canada, Oh Canada, we stand on guard for thee!

    September 3, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  4. sl

    she had a benign cyst and was in no danger whatsoever. She also had to mortgage her home for the 100k cost of the procedure.

    September 3, 2012 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  5. Name

    It is ashame that this administration wants to control our lives in everyday, from what our children eat to deciding if you will receive health care so you can live. What has happened to freedom in America!

    September 3, 2012 09:06 pm at 9:06 pm |
  6. Name

    If you dont like dont use it, we will some of uus would love health care so what its perfect we can fix that, however you dont have any what do you fix

    September 3, 2012 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  7. sarcasticrover

    The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) interviewed neurosurgeons in Montreal and Toronto who described Holmes' claims as exaggerated; they stated that her condition was a benign cyst which was not a medical emergency.[22]

    September 3, 2012 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  8. nmmell08

    Here is my issue with this ad. The ad highlights one story. Its an issue both sides do. I know from my experiances living in the Northern Part of NY for 4 years during College that Medicine in Canada is a lot cheaper. Prescriptions are cheaper, over the counters are cheaper. It costs less. Our health system, even with these reforms is NOT Canada. We still have private health insurence, your mandated to get it. This is not a single payer system like Canada. Please, GOP, stop misleading Americans

    September 3, 2012 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  9. nmmell08

    Name: Your kidding right, you get pick your Health Insurence, your PRIVATE health insurence or your buisness does. And i did not know there was a regimited diet nationally. I can still eat chips and soda and other crappy food if i want to. I tend to not have a ton of it b/c i know its not healthy to me

    September 3, 2012 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  10. NotAnIdiot

    Oh please lol. My province has the BEST healthcare in the world (Alberta). I've had like 10 hospital visits (mostly injuries) during my life time and have not ONCE been disappointed. Around one hundred or so doctors visits (hormone check ups), 10 or so physiotherapy visits and one endocrinologist visit and every single time I was treated with respect, my appointments were on time, and the doctors found the underlying condition, explained it and thus caused me to have less worries in my life. I saw all these for free and I'm PROUD to say I've never had to deal with insurance companies and since I'm close to graduating from a not for profit university I will gladly pay my debt back to society rather than using offshore bank accounts. I've even gotten scans on my brain FOR FREE, MRI scans on my spine FOR FREE and MRI scans on my Achilles FOR FREE to rule out possible conditions.

    September 3, 2012 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  11. Cardiac50

    It's an odd thing.. but I live up on the Canadian border (on the US side)... and I rarely hear any criticism of their health care system from friends on the other side.. a wait is often an issue no matter where you are. .when I asked for an appt with a Derm doctor that was on my plan.. I was told it would be 8 months to see her.. but only six months to see her PA... it's nice that the US health care system was there for her.. sad that it's not for 50 million+ actual Americans. Besides.. I'm not sure where it says in the HCAA that you're not going to have the option to seek whatever care you can afford to pay out of pocket..

    September 3, 2012 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
  12. goomba_lorenzo

    I bet the ad dorsn't tell us how much her treatment in the US cost her..

    September 3, 2012 09:29 pm at 9:29 pm |
  13. Courtney Barnes

    I don't know where they found this woman. I am a Canadian and I can tell you that the people of Canada love our healthcare system. Universal healthcare is an incredibly innovative system that makes it possible for people to keep up with their health and to take part in preventitive screenings. Tommy Douglas–the man who passed universal healthcare– is considered Canada's favorite person...I know I will be forever greatful to him, because of him I don't have to worry about mounting healthcare bills and I will always know that my family is being taken care of.

    September 3, 2012 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  14. NotAnIdiot

    Without the help of Canada's healthcare system I would never have come close to achieving my dreams. TY CANADA!

    September 3, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  15. ronnie

    We have the best health care in Canada, I had two complete knee replacemant, which entailed four months of physio after I had each one done. If I lived in the states I wouldn't have be able to have this surgery.. The only reason this health care was there for Shona Holmes was because she had the cash, health care shouldn't be only for the wealthy.

    September 3, 2012 09:32 pm at 9:32 pm |
  16. Sharon

    I have relatives in Toronto. Windsor and London, Ontario as was as British Columbia and PEI. All of them have had fine health care under the Canadian plan. Both my nieces have had health issues that were dealt with quickly. I have worked in the health care industry in a US city bordering Canada. The majority of patients I have seen records on have come to the US for elective procedures or, non life threatening situations. I have seen many Canadians referred to US hospitals when the Canadian ones could not perform a necessary surgery quick enough. Since the Canadian government paid the bills, they were moved ahead of US citizens needing the same treatment. I have spoken with my relatives on their health care and they would not change it for the US model in any circumstance.

    September 3, 2012 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  17. Proud Canadian

    At least we get everyone covered.In the USA unless you are worth $200M like Ann Romney you are doomed.She got the best care for MS/Breast cancer and will repeal the coverage for millions being covered by Obama care.What a hypocrite? Is that what it means to be a Christian?

    September 3, 2012 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  18. NotImpressed

    She is very lucky. If she had been a a citizen in the United States without health insurance or the financial resources to pay put of pocket she probably would be dead. I fail to understand this ad. Is it meant to show me that when it comes to health care in the US, it will be provided to anyone who can pay. I am not impressed.

    September 3, 2012 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  19. Marie MD

    Do these teatards even know what Canada's healthcare system is about?
    Why don't we ask the seniors whose donut hole closed or the parents who now keep their children on their policy until they are 26 years old or the sick who can't be denied coverage by the big insurance companies for pre conditions?
    Before the teatard start on this. The rest of Obamacare doesn't go into effect until 2014 so anyone who thinks their insurance at work went up . . . . talk to your people/corporations. The same corporations where CEOs make over $20 million plus perks and get golden parachutes (ask the flip flopper who his friends are) while the average American gets a pink slip and whatever vacation time they have not taken.

    September 3, 2012 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  20. cody

    I like how they leave out the price of her procedure. In Canada the wait may be bad, but at least you won't go broke. This is a little misleading, the private sector still controls insurance and unlike Canada, it will still cost money. The wait won't be as bad because ppl will still have to pay therefore decreasing the amount of frivolous doctor appointments, which is the only cause for long waits. (The right likes to deny those without money from getting a necessary procedure because it will increase wait times. What a bunch of elitists!) At least he wants to help people instead of really raking away someones freedom, like the freedom to love!

    September 3, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  21. Canadian Doomer

    Seriously? I am a Canadian brain tumour survivor. I had a CT scan, then an MRI and then surgery within a few weeks and my care was *excellent*. Actually, ongoing care is still excellent – I get an MRI annually, and I qualify for free eye exams because my vision was affected by the tumour. Cancer is treated quite aggressively. Shona Holmes had a *benign cyst* – she could have easily waited the six months that it would have taken to deal with it.

    And there's the thing – even a benign cyst was going to be covered by OHIP, if she was willing to wait a little bit. She mortgaged her home for nothing.

    No sane Canadian would get rid of our health care system. It's not perfect, but it's better than alternatives.

    September 3, 2012 09:48 pm at 9:48 pm |
  22. Zombie

    It has nothing to do with freedom or the government wanting control of any person's life. Providing basic health care to a nations population should not be viewed any differently than any other government provided services such as defense. People that believe that somehow their freedom is being infringed upon by government healthcare should take a closer look at their own private insurance health coverage if in fact they have coverage. Network restrictions, high deductibles and out of pocket expenses which could take thousands of dollars from a person's paycheck do more to restrict your economic freedom than any government sponsored health care. What a standard national health program can do is allow more people access to preventative care so that everyone has the ability to live a healthy and long life without being bankrupt due to medical bills and this goes hand in hand with personal freedom. Every other major industrialized country in the world has some form of national medical care and yet they still seem to have the same freedoms as citizens of the United States. I don't recall anyone escaping from Canada, Great Britain, Australia, Germany, or any of the dozens of other countries that offer health care to their citizens claiming that they were weighed down by the yoke of health care oppression.

    September 3, 2012 09:52 pm at 9:52 pm |
  23. Len

    I know many Canadians and they love their healthcare. I am so tired of the hypocrits and unitelligient people in this country. How many of you actually know all the benefits of the Healthcare Law? Find out and get the correct answers instead of liwstening to FOX NEWS!!!! Branch out and learn something!

    September 3, 2012 09:54 pm at 9:54 pm |
  24. Gary

    I am from Canada and am so tired of Americans politicians lying about our health care . I know i pay taxes to have this good plan, but is easier to pay taxes on what i buy over time, than to come up with thousands at once.. My daughter had a brain tumor at 22. It was removed within 2 weeks. But like most things in life the plan is not perfect and there are problems. Also, if you get sick we can go to outpatients and receive help, with out the worry if we have money. I live in the greatest country in the world

    September 3, 2012 09:57 pm at 9:57 pm |
  25. Squigman

    People who've never been out of the country, making comments on subjects they know nothing about. A scare tactic?

    September 3, 2012 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
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