Music sensation and teen heartthrob Justin Bieber is on the cover of the most recent Rolling Stone magazine. In the article, he discusses his life, his fame, his religion, his sex symbol status, and healthcare. Bieber is a proud Canadian (and being married to a Canadian myself, there's nothing wrong with that!). He is offbase on much he discusses.

Bieber discusses why he feels Canada is a superior nation to the United States. Healthcare is one of those points. He says, "We go to the doctor, and we don't need to worry about paying him, but here (the US), your whole life, you're broke because of medical bills." First of all, Canadians pay plenty for healthcare, but it's buried in their exhorbitant income taxes. I'll admit that there is better access for those who have a low income in Canada, however. I'm interested in how many people Justin actually knows are in the situation he describes. In the circles he runs, I'm sure very few.

Bieber continues, "My bodyguard's baby was premature, and now he has to pay for it. In Canada, if your baby's premature, he stays in the hospital as long as he needs to, and then you go home." I feel bad for his bodyguard and do hope that his baby is progressing well. I do wonder, however, why Bieber's company, or Usher's company that is over his, or the bodyguard agency does not provide his bodyguard with healthcare. In a job where he spends everyday protecting Justin from throngs of prepubescent girls, unspeakably dangerous, wouldn't it be negligent to not provide healthcare to someone guarding someone as important as Justin Bieber?

Is the Canadian healthcare system so wonderful? Sure...if you consider waiting 6 months for a needed MRI to diagnose an important healthcare issue. Why do so many Canadians cross the border to the United States and pay cash for such an exam? How about surgery? I have patients come from Canada to my Houston podiatry office to pay cash for a bunion surgery they would have to wait 18 to 24 months for in Canada. The same goes for other surgeries, such as knee and hip replacements. And if you need a life-saving procedure, such as a bone marrow transplant and you're older than the government bureaucrat deems a worthwhile expenditure,'re just not getting it.

The healthcare system in the United States is far from perfect, but I certainly find it's accessibility to be head and shoulders over the one available in Canada.
Dr. Andrew Schneider
Dr. Andrew Schneider is a podiatrist and foot surgeon at Tanglewood Foot Specialists in Houston, TX.
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