Identical Quadruplets.

Karen Jepp of Calgary, Alberta has given birth to four daughters, a rare instance of identical quadruplets. The babies were conceived without fertility drugs, and were delivered two months early. The odds of identical quadruplets are about one in 13 million. Less than 50 cases appear in medical records. The Jepps traveled to Great Falls, Montana for the Caesarian birth, making the four girls American citizens. Link -via Fark

Great story! What is most profound is that these people drove over 300 miles to have the births done in Great Falls Montana, a US town with a population of just 57,000 instead of their home city (and it’s a real city with a population over 1,000,000) of Calgary, because the hospitals there were too crowded to handle it!

What does that tell you about the state of the Canadian socialized medicine program? They had to drive 6 hours from a modern thriving city like Calgary (I've been there and it's nice, not run-down) to bumpkinville (relatively speaking), Montana in the next COUNTRY in order to get decent health care. Hmmm... What do we learn? Maybe when you make a good like health care "free", the supplies get really low!!!

Straight talk from Sid!
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Sid, thanks for posting "the rest of the story". I'm really happy those folks were able to find a solution to the problem they were having with Canadian health care.

Can you imagine what might have happened to those children if the US had the socialized medicine people are pushing, and they couldn't give birth here either? It would have been tragic.
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We love you Sid. Alex should give you a co-author job here so you can contribute your own blog posts. You bring to light what the Associated Press article glosses over when they attribute the reason for the border crossing birth to Galgary's "growth", rather than the inadequacy of the socialist health "care" system.
Neatorama is one of the best pop culture blogs going, but it seems to me they could use your sort of perspective on things to balance some of the wayward co-bloggers they've brought on recently. (And I don't mean Miss Cellania.)
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Yeah, but our government still picks up the tab when people have to be sent elsewhere for treatment. These folks won't have to worry about losing their house just because they had to use hospital services.

It's not "socialized medicine" itself that's the problem. It's the government and all of its cutbacks in funding. We've had socialized medicine for many years, and it's only in the last few that there have been stories about bed shortages and sending people elsewhere for treatment. Living right next to the U.S. doesn't help either (where do you think the doctors choose to go? The country with socialized medicine, or the country where they can charge for every Band-Aid and blood test?).

Continue to bash our system all you like. But it does make me wonder whether:

A) you are rich.
B) you have excellent (expensive) insurance.
C) you have ever needed the services of a hospital.

If you are poor, have no insurance, and have been in the unfortunate position of needing medical attention, I can't understand why you'd be so eager to tear apart a system that, for the most part, helps a lot of people.

If I ever need the services of a hospital, I'd much rather be in Canada than in the U.S.
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I think what's missing is a combo approach to health care: a minimum but universal coverage, plus a private insurance (with more coverage and better service) to those who can afford it.

The universal coverage *is* socialized medicine - and the service will not be up to par, but it's better than *no* coverage.

Sid, consider this an invite to be an author on Neatorama. Unfortunately, the email I have for you never seem to reach you.

A "straight invite" from Alex. ;)
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The problem is not with the medical profession directly. I believe it's with the legal system. Most doctors have to pay so much in legal fees and malpractice insurance because of frivolous lawsuits. Then there's people not paying their bills at all. Sadly the rest of us are the ones picking up the tab. Every time the government gets their hands into running things they add so much red tape and bureaucracy that inherently costs go up. Socializing anything is a bad idea. Look at how much you pay in social security and all the problems with that. If we were allowed to create medical savings accounts and invest our own money we'd be a lot better off.
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L -
No intent at bashing your fine country... just trying to help us avoid from falling into a similar health pitfall. Remember, though, these people's need for medical care was not sudden ... the nature of the pregnancy was known and the Caesarean birth planned for months. Frankly, I'm amazed that the Calgary hospitals couldn't accomodate them with all the notice given and the press coverage they knew this birth would bring. How is this covered in the Canadian press? Isn't it a tremendous embarassment for health care advocates there? Is something being left out of the US reports?

Alex - I used an alternate email address this time. I'm not sure why it's not going through ... one of us must be being flagged as spam somewhere as I know I got the Damocles email from you (but no others) and responded. Hmmmm.
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L.'s complains that "Living right next to the U.S. doesn’t help either" because doctors choose to work where their incomes will be highest. What will happen to the number and quality of US doctors when their incomes are lowered (assuming this to be the case) by socialized medicine? Doctors are both smart and have invested an enormous amount of time, and therefore personal sacrifice, in their education. If not adequately compensated (at least in their own perception), they instead may choose one of the many other rewarding and intellectually challenging professions. It might be interesting to look at the numbers of applicants for veterinarian schools, since veterinarians have similar academic training yet are paid much less.
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And if they had been Americans from the start they would have paid *more* for the services of the hospital than they end up paying in taxes for Canada's hospitals.

I seriously doubt "Sid" got the "rest of the story" right at all. Perhaps they wanted their daughters to have dual citizenship from birth, who knows?

It's a shame this site is infested with Republiscum like Sid, turning everything into a wedge to drive people apart.
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SmartyDeny: you have a gift for diplomacy, not to mention imaginative vocabulary. The word "Republiscum", for example really tends to bring people together and smooth things over.

Alex: why is it that every time I post to Neatorama I see the message "Your comments are awaiting moderation" and sometimes have to wait half a day before it appears, and yet you let offensive trolls like this one get away with comments like this?
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Okay, so she had the babies in the U.S. They wanted the best care available and, apparently, the Calgary hospital couldn't handle it. Probably not because they were ill-equipped, but because of the enormity of the situation and the need for complete concentration on one patient. Who knows really. Trust me, my neighbors to the south. "Free" -- which is truly not really free because we pay HUGE taxes for this privilege -- health care is the best thing in the world. It is the great equalizer for all people great and small. It has its drawbacks but in the long run, we are better off. No one goes without care, prenatal and otherwise. We are truly blessed. Canada is a great country that takes care of all of its people!
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One VERY major point that everyone seems to be missing here; is that the situation is far from 'normal' in Calgary right now! We are suffering major infastructure issues due to the huge influx of people wanting to get in on the oil boom. Thousands come here every week.

Our medical system is also suffering as a result, along with everything else. I'd take the Canadian Health care system over the US any day! It's always been very good to us; and boy we've needed it!
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I just came across this article now and the comments from Sid and other equally narrow-minded Americans are astonishing! First let me say I know this couple and their sitation (a lack of neonatal beds) was a RARE occurance in Calgary - didn't you read the article - they had way more premature births than expected all at once. Let's get one thing straight - Canada's health care is NOT "socialized" (the word Americans love to mistakingly throw around w/out even understanding what it means). It is NOT "gov't" run - it's privately run and largely publically funded (70%), there's a difference. Calgary has experienced a larger than usual "boom" in recent years and hosptials have been struggling to catch up to the massive population growth like everything else in the city. The fact remains that the Alberta gov't still picked up the tab! Meanwhile, more than 45 million Americans have NOBODY to pick up the tab - they simple avoid medical treatment or go bankrupt. Canada's health care is far from perfect, but it's a MILLION times better than the joke of a US system that cares more about profit than patient care. Finally, to make it sound like Canadians pay so much more in taxes is also a CROCK - the taxes are NOT that much higher in Canada and for almost every single Canadian, the little bit higher they are is WAY better than the astronomical health costs so many Americans have to deal with.
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