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Posted at 10:39 AM ET, 02/16/2011

One less American citizen

By Ezra Klein

PH2011021004890.jpgJustin Bieber talks health care:

The Canadian-born Bieber never plans on becoming an American citizen. "You guys are evil," he says with a laugh. "Canada's the best country in the world. We go to the doctor and we don't need to worry about paying him, but here, your whole life, you're broke because of medical bills. 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."

But don't stereotype him as a garden variety liberal: He's firmly pro-life, including, it seems, in cases of rape. More Bieber here.

Photo credit: Paramount Pictures

By Ezra Klein  | February 16, 2011; 10:39 AM ET
 
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Comments

Please, like I should care what your favorite musician thinks.

Posted by: novalifter | February 16, 2011 11:02 AM | Report abuse

so why doesn't he as his employer offer him health benefits that would have covered the baby? As novalifter correctly said we don't need policy debates from a 16 year old pop singer. Let him stick to something he does well, making my 10 year old swoon.

Posted by: visionbrkr | February 16, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Canada can keep him, or better, shoot him off into space.

Posted by: arm3 | February 16, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

Heheheh, he's firmly pro-life right up to the minute he gets his first paternity suit.

Posted by: HokieAnnie | February 16, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

Ha, it pisses me off when people suddenly care about what the Pope thinks when he agrees with them about something, but I could see appealing to Beiber as being an effect argument tactic against a certain demographic. (Sadly, a lot of that demographic can even vote.)

Seconding shooting Beiber into space though. We need one less lonely sun.

Posted by: HerooftheBeach | February 16, 2011 11:41 AM | Report abuse

Convincing and thorough arguments, but I won't be completely swayed until I get Miley Cyrus's opinion.

Posted by: dpurp | February 16, 2011 11:55 AM | Report abuse

"so why doesn't he as his employer offer him health benefits that would have covered the baby?"

Excellent point.

Even without insurance, Bieber could just reach into his own (already very deep) pockets and cover the cost himself. Why is Bieber so "evil" that he lets his bodyguard - a man he knows personally - struggle with medical bills? Why does he demand other people - nearly all of them far poorer than Bieber - contribute to his bodyguard's care if he can't take it upon himself?

Posted by: justin84 | February 16, 2011 12:19 PM | Report abuse

Hasn't Bieber ever heard of the Dixie Chicks?

Middle America ain't going to like this one bit. Guarantee you the yahoos will be demanding Wal-Mart drop his CDs.

Posted by: Jasper999 | February 16, 2011 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Good example of the benefits of a national risk pool and public health insurance. For a large population, it's fairly predictable how many babies will be born prematurely and what the cost will be and the likelihood is not that great and the cost not that high per person when spread across a large risk pool. Everyone pays a small amount in their insurance (or as part of taxes in a public system) and will benefit greatly in the unfortunate situation that they have a premature baby. For an individual, it's more of a luck of the draw likelihood and very expensive if your baby is premature. For small risk pools it is similarly unpredictable and expensive. It's a policy decision how you'd want to spread the risk but the a large national risk pool seems more efficient overall.

Posted by: keatnik | February 16, 2011 12:40 PM | Report abuse

--*and the cost not that high per person when spread across a large risk pool.*--

There are risk pools and there are risk pools. Canada is not the United States.

Plus, it doesn't really look like the Canadian department of obstetrics is up to the job:

http://www.womensenews.org/story/medicine/101220/canada-faces-growing-loss-maternity-wards

That said, anyone who cites Bieber on anything not related to early pubescent music is a moron.

Posted by: msoja | February 16, 2011 1:06 PM | Report abuse

"CANADA’S 10-MONTH WAITING LIST FOR MATERNITY BEDS"

http://www.healthcarebs.com/2007/08/17/canada’s-ten-month-waiting-list-for-maternity-beds/

Posted by: msoja | February 16, 2011 1:08 PM | Report abuse

You guys realize this is all tongue in cheek, right? Nobody really cares about Beiber's opinion on healthcare. It's funny.

Posted by: MosBen | February 16, 2011 1:15 PM | Report abuse

So, in Canada, you don't have to pay when you have a "Baaaaby, baaaaby, Ooooooh... baaaaby, baaaaby"

Posted by: KBfromNC | February 16, 2011 1:36 PM | Report abuse

The state of this comments forum is depressing. Head over to FrumForum to see what a substantive comments forum is like.

Posted by: nickthap | February 16, 2011 1:49 PM | Report abuse

"The state of this comments forum is depressing." Agree--what a bunch of know-nothing jerks. Justin Beiber sounds classy and cogent by comparison.

Posted by: steveandshelley | February 16, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

Proof positive that wisdom can indeed come out of the mouths of babes. To call out American conservative positions as evil is being too kind.

Posted by: denim39 | February 16, 2011 2:00 PM | Report abuse

Smart kid! They obviously have a better education system in Canada as well as a better health care system. However, he did fail to mention that Canada's single-payer national health insurance pays for everybody at only 10 percent of GDP, as opposed to the US where 17 percent of the GDP leaves nearly 50 million uninsured. The American system is great, if you have lots of health insurance stock, but not if you are an uninsured citizen.

Posted by: laythisdown | February 16, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Thank you, WaPo, for enlightening us on this obviously noteworthy observation by a non-citizen, non-voting individual who has enough money to take care of himself in cash.

Posted by: dharder | February 16, 2011 2:46 PM | Report abuse

oh yeah, xenophobia and ageism, great reasons to knock the substance of what is said. The level of the first few comments on here is pathetic.

Posted by: rjewett | February 16, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

"'The state of this comments forum is depressing.' Agree--what a bunch of know-nothing jerks. Justin Beiber sounds classy and cogent by comparison."

You're so above it all. Thank you for your sanctimonious note of your own commenting prowess in a forum about the political mutterings of the venerable Justin Bieber.

Posted by: KBfromNC | February 16, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

--*as opposed to the US where 17 percent of the GDP leaves nearly 50 million uninsured.*--

Which isn't to say: unable to see a doctor.

There is a distinction, but some people seem unable or unwilling to make it, for some reason.

Posted by: msoja | February 16, 2011 5:17 PM | Report abuse

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