Sarah Palin, the Cruella DeVille of anti-government-health care, got a big blip of attention over the story how her family hopped the border from Skagway, Alaska, into the Yukon Territory for "free" Canadian government health care when Palin was a child. Maybe it was just a story: Canadian newspapers noted that Palin has also described going to Juneau, Alaska, for the same treatment for her brother’s burned foot. Whatever. I wanted to know whether other Alaskans went to Canada for medical care–and still do.
Canada’s Globe and Mail newspaper had the answer–straight from the hospital in Whitehorse, Yukon Territory–which is a (relatively) quick hop from southern Alaska:
KD Braden, a spokesperson at Whitehorse General Hospital, said it
wasn’t and isn’t uncommon for Americans to seek treatment in
Whitehorse. There was and is a fee. The difference is that, back in the
1960s, "they paid it quite happily, because it was very, very
reasonable," whereas today the fees are such that "they’re not always
happy to pay."
What I’d be willing to bet is that the Canadian fees for Americans are still way less than what the hospital in Juneau, Alaska, or the clinic in Skagway is charging to the uninsured.