Welcome to Current TV
Real Canadians Stick Up For reform
Many progressives say the Canadian system of universal care is an excellent role model for our own country. The the upfront costs of establishing such a system, they argue, would eventually be offset by the competitive advantages to American business.
By contrast, American conservatives see the Canadian approach as signifying the end of the freedom to choose your own doctor, the rationing of crucial treatments, and an enormous tax burden.
The argument has played out in congressional hearings, in full-page ads in national newspapers, online and in television commercials.
To see how well a universal health care system like Canada's actually works, the Huffington Post went straight to the source: actual Canadians.
In a decidedly unscientific survey, we emailed about a dozen Canadians with three basic questions, requesting they respond and pass the survey on. We asked which system they would prefer -- their system of universal care, or the U.S. system dominated by private insurers. In addition, we asked them to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the Canadian system. And some respondents volunteered personal stories about how they have been treated.
All of the two dozen people who wrote in said they preferred Canadian health care system.
"Anyone who cries 'Socialism!' or 'Communism!' to prevent Americans from achieving universal health care is a liar and a thief -- and more to the point, has plenty of money of his own. He's got his!" wrote Lori Covington. "I just hope the American people won't be dumb enough to continue falling for the line that socialized health care means a loss of personal freedom. In fact, it's quite the opposite."
From Nova Scotia, Maureen Moffatt wrote: "I have seen American politicians speak about our system. Just because something doesn't work perfectly in other countries should not be used as support for the status quo in the U.S."
Respondents wrote that no health care system is perfect. The weaknesses of the Canadian system, they said, includes the need to wait for elective surgery, occasional lines in emergency rooms and a shortage of general practitioners and nurses in some provinces. But all felt that security of knowing that you have health care despite your employment situation more than compensated for the disadvantages.
Canada's universal heath care, wrote Peter Puxley, "still falls short in using medical resources efficiently. The use of electronic records is not widespread enough, specialists, family doctors, nurse practitioners, paramedics, etc are not yet organized into the multifaceted health units that the system now envisages to distribute the burden of care more effectively, but that is coming."
more from Community:
from the community