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Here Are (Real) Facts About The Canadian Healthcare System

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A great deal of last week's Democratic debates centered on healthcare.

And when the chilling words "Medicare-for-All" are spoken, there is inevitably someone--moderate Democrat or Republican--who is going to turn around and trot out right-wing talking points about "doctors leaving Canada for the United States," and Canadian patients with serious health issues having to languish on interminable waiting lists.

Naturally, we want a president bold and progressive enough to take on the for-profit health-insurance industry that has exploited millions of Americans' suffering to make a handful of CEOs and politicians fabulously wealthy.

First, let me state I am not Canadian.

I went to Canada once the summer before ninth grade when my family crossed over to the Canadian side of Niagara Falls.

I've met Canadians, and have researched their healthcare system and what they think about it.

Many have gone public pointing out the inaccuracies our corporate media deftly promulgates.

Canada is not some third-world banana republic where people are dying in the streets. It's a civilized liberal democracy, as is Denmark, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, Switzerland, Great Britain, Finland, Japan--all countries with some form of national healthcare service.

And they are proud and fiercely protective of their national healthcare system.

Most countries offer healthcare as a human right to all its citizens.

But of the 25 wealthiest nations, the United States is the only one that fails to do this.

As an American with decent employer-provided private health insurance who has received letters explaining how doctor-prescribed medical procedures are being declined because they have been deemed "unnecessary," I know there is something fundamentally flawed with the ways in which we deliver healthcare in America.

I acknowledge my good fortune.

My wife, children, and I are healthy. Our co-payments are reasonable, and we have not ever hit the insurance provider's arbitrary cap.

Yet I also acknowledge millions of our fellow countrymen are not as fortunate. They have high deductibles, co-payments, may have lousy coverage, and are one serious illness or injury away from bankruptcy.

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Ted Millar is a writer and teacher. His work has been in featured in myriad literary journals, including Straight Forward Poetry, Better Than Starbucks, the Broke Bohemian, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices (more...)

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