Sunday, December 18, 2011

Stats make U.S.-style health care a tough sell

By Terry N. Champion
Edmonton Journal
December 18, 2011

Statistics for 2009 compiled by Harvard Medical School and the U.S. Census Bureau show that, in the insurance-dominated U.S. healthcare system, 45,000 Americans died because they had no health insurance; 922,819 Americans went bankrupt because of medical expenses; 50,700,000 Americans have no health insurance.

The comparable figures from the Canadian health-care system are zero, zero and zero.

Which health-care system would you rather have?

Americans have been frightened by insurance industry lobbyists into resisting universal governmentfunded health care for over 100 years, portraying Canadians as flocking south across the border to obtain proper medical care in the U.S.

We must counteract the lobbyists who are attempting to move our health care toward a system where those of us who are in good health would qualify for expensive insurance premiums while millions of our fellow citizens could end up with no health coverage at all.

And don't think our taxes would be reduced accordingly. The money would be spent elsewhere. Insurance company bureaucracy adds over 20 per cent to the cost of U.S. health care, with no value added. Tommy Douglas enunciated Canadian values when he said "people are more important than profits."

What can we do to preserve and improve our health-care system? Support organizations that are working on our behalf, such as Seniors United Now and Friends of Medicare. Seniors United Now has a documentary film, The Health Care Movie, that every Canadian should see. It was researched and produced by a Canadian-American couple.

And let our elected officials know that we want no part of U.S.-style health care.

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