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Many myths about the Canadian system 'need debunking'

Dear American Neighbours,

My experience with the Canadian health care system has been exemplary, particularly in B.C. where I have lived all my 76 years.

I, with a multitude of others, am fearful about the privatization of the Canadian system, which seems to be the goal of some B.C. doctors, who have opened clinics which separate rich and poor in terms of medical care.

The model they use comes from the USA where private health insurance companies spend millions lobbying for continuing the current system which leaves some 47,000,000 mired in debt paying doctors, pharmacies and hospitals for needed services.

Sincerely,

Ron Hansen

Cumberland B.C.

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My Dear Fellow Americans,

I was born in California and lived and worked there for over 50 years.  I've had employer-based healthcare policies in the U.S. and I've bought my own as a contractor.  In 2007 my family policy cost me $920.00 per month with a $1000.00 annual deductable. The policy had limits, exclusions and co-pays that we had to read and understand. We were always worried about making the monthly payments or getting sick. 

Two years ago my family moved to Canada and now we use the Canadian national healthcare system. My family premiums cost $92.00 a month.  I choose my own doctor and go to see him as often as I need to.  I've had surgery, tests and treatments and haven't had any longer wait than in the U.S. and the professionalism is excellent. Beyond the monthly premium, I have never seen a medical bill, co-pay, deductible or denial of service.  And every person I meet in Canada, everyday, everywhere, has the same coverage I do.  We all support each other.  It is OUR healthcare system, not the "government's system." 

It breaks my heart to see my beloved homeland in the grip of such unfounded fear of Canadian healthcare. Medicare for All is the humane and sensible thing to do. Come on in, the water's fine.

With kind regards,

Linda Melvin

Surrey, B.C.

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Dear American Neighbours,

Perhaps the fear of becoming ill is so great a daily stress to our  American neighbours that they are additionally susceptible to the fear mongering tactics of lobbyists and politicians who try to tell them they are better off staying with their existing health care system than rocking that inhuman status quo with a system like Canada's.

The myths about Canada's health care system that are being promoted, and need debunking, include:

1) We can’t choose our own doctor

2) There are long waiting lists even for things like broken hips

3) Government “bureaucrats” intervene and deny services.

4) Canada has a “socialist” system.  (Note: In socialized medical systems, the doctors work directly for the state. In Canada doctors run their own private practices, just like they do in the US.)

Every day coping is stressful enough without adding the unbearable stress of facing ruin if illness strikes.

I encourage American to support the politics of reform of your health care system.

Susan Schellenberg

Toronto, Ontario

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Dear American Neighbours,

I love our health care system because I was able to raise two children as a low-income single parent without having to worry about their health care needs.  I did not have to pay ANYTHING for health care premiums, and I did not have to pay out of pocket when needing emergency care. It was a huge relief to me.  Now as a middle aged self-employed single I don't have to worry that I won't be able to see a doctor or have an operation when I need one.

My mother nearly died at age 11 from untreated appendicitis.  Her mother could not afford the operation.  My mother survived, miraculously, and thus I am alive today - but she never took for granted the miracle that is a fully funded health care system - nor do I.

Lyn Adamson

Toronto, Ontario

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