Canada: The truth about our health system

Americans have been fed a pack of lies about Canadian health care, said Stephen Lautens in The Calgary Sun.

Stephen Lautens

The Calgary Sun

Americans have been fed a pack of lies about Canadian health care, said Stephen Lautens. I just got back from a trip to the U.S. South, and “it was an eye-opener.” Everyone was talking about the U.S. health-reform proposals, and the one thing they could all agree on was that they didn’t want to end up like Canada. Fox News and other conservative media outlets routinely claim that in Canada, the government assigns you a doctor and that you have to wait months for an appointment and years for vital, life-saving surgery.

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When I told them that we pick our own doctors, see them virtually whenever we wish, and pay nothing for the privilege, “their jaws dropped.” When I further explained that a “wildly popular Fox News story” about Canada’s “hospital death committees”—which supposedly pull the plug on old people to save money—was a complete fabrication, I had their rapt attention. “A small crowd gathered around me at the bar to hear the Canadian tell his magical tale of health-care coverage.” One uninsured American then told me about a $15,000 MRI she was slowly paying off, while those with insurance complained of being unable to afford the medicines their doctors had prescribed.

“When I left that crowd, they were thinking that, even if it’s not perfect, Canada is a pretty good country.”

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