Tuesday, September 15, 2009

An Inconvenient Truth for the GOP: Canada's System is Better

by Eugene Lang and Philip DeMont

It is rare for Canada to get noticed in the United States. In fact, it is almost unprecedented for anything Canadian to be the focal point of debate in Washington. Yet we have seen just that in recent months during the congressional wrangling over U.S. President Barack Obama's attempts to reform health insurance.

Canada's medicare system has suddenly been thrust into the spotlight south of the border. It has been pilloried by the Republicans in Congress, the subject of derisive and distorted television advertisements, described variously as a system of medicine by bureaucrat, a statist form of health care afflicted by gross inequities and inefficiencies, one that pales in comparison to the U.S. model. The hysterical tone of the anti-medicare rhetoric among Republicans would make one think Canada is North Korea.

But there is an inconvenient truth that the Republican ideology cannot dispute. Canada's approach to providing citizens with universal health insurance is superior to the U.S. model of private insurance. When we get beyond the anti-medicare ideology and histrionics on Capitol Hill, we can establish this by reference to four basic numbers that give a good sense of our system versus the system in the United States.

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  1. IDK, RZ-- it's going to be a long, complicated process not matter what they come up with-- Canadian, my relatives, may be insured, but for "decent" healthcare, my elderly aunt and uncle have to drive to Calgary-- As do most folks-- only the big cities have the capability to diagnose and treat-- that's a 10 hour drive for them--
    What bothers me most is how are we going to fix the flagrant criminal pharmaceutical costs-- Makes me ill to see what our elderly have to pay for their prescriptions!

  2. I live in arizona, most of our elderly go to MEXICO to buy their meds. me and my wife go to MEXICO for our dental work, as do many others.