PALIN: We used to hustle over the border for health care we received in Canada. And I think now, isn’t that ironic?
This isn’t the first time Palin highlighted the difficulty of obtaining affordable health care in America. During the presidential campaign, Palin discussed how she and her husband Todd had “gone though periods of our life here with paying out-of-pocket for health coverage until Todd and I both landed a couple of good union jobs.” At the vice presidential debate, Palin recalled times in her marriage “in our past where we didn’t have health insurance and we know what other Americans are going through as they sit around the kitchen table and try to figure out how are they going to pay out-of-pocket for health care?”
Palin’s experience also highlights the fact that American medical-tourism to Canada is common, despite conservatives’ claims that Canada’s health care system drives Canadians into the states. “Every year, thousands of Americans undergo surgery in other countries” where they can receive the same care “at half the price.” “In 2007, an estimated 750,000 Americans traveled abroad for medical care; this number is anticipated to increase to six million by 2010″ — far outpacing the number of Canadians coming into the United States for medical treatment. It’s good to know that Palin was once one of them.
Cross-posted on The Wonk Room.