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Our American friends are struggling to meet their health care needs and are fighting for change right now. Canada’s hard won universal system can be a model to others. Share your testimonial about universal health care here in Canada. Try to keep it short but sweet, 150 words or less. Send it to and we’ll post it here. Or send us a video testimonial to

Dear American Neighbours:

Canadians have been watching and reading about your national debate over how to reform your health care system. Normally, of course, we would not attempt to intervene or influence you. But Canadians are shocked that their health-care system -- called Medicare -- has been used to frighten Americans. Some of what has been said about our Medicare system are outright falsehoods -- like the claim that we can't choose our own doctors or that government "bureaucrats" can deny us needed treatment.

We want you to know the truth so that when you make up your mind it will be on the basis of facts, not falsehoods. This page has testimonials from ordinary Canadians, from health professionals, links to websites explaining our Medicare and links to campaigns in your own country fighting for reform.

on endorses Hassan Husseini for CLC president | Apr 25 2014 | David Bush | After careful consideration of election platforms, is endorsing Hassan Husseini for president of the Canadian Labour Congress.
Video: Secure the future of medicare -- a call to care | Dec 1 2011 | Lisa Santonato | Watch the re-broadcast of the Canadian Health Coalition's "Secure the future of health care -- a call to care," with keynote by Roy Romanow, and panels moderated by Andre Picard.
The Americanization of Canadian medicine involves more than privatized clinics | Jun 30 2011 | David J. Climenhaga | Is anyone paying attention to the Americanization of our health-care system when it comes to aggressive civil litigation and the importation of American-style regulatory bodies to Canadian medicine?
Acting Today, Shaping Tomorrow: David Reynolds on the state of the U.S. health-care debate | Jun 30 2011 | Ellie Gordon-Moershel | How community health centres can improve population health and strengthen the sustainability of health-care systems.
Robert Lovelace is an Algonquin presence with the Freedom Flotilla | Jun 22 2011 | Robert Lovelace | This month, I will be joining the Freedom Flotilla to Gaza, an international fleet of seven ships delivering food, construction and medical supplies to the besieged people of Palestine.
Vermont introduces single-payer health care | May 25 2011 | Amy Goodman | This week, Vermont will be the first U.S. state to offer single-payer health care, which eliminates the costly insurance companies that many believe are the root cause of spiralling health-care costs.
Weekly Pulse: DCCC ad shows grandpa stripping for extra cash to pay for Medicare | Apr 20 2011 | Lindsay Beyerstein | How will the next generation of seniors pay for health care if Republicans privatize Medicare? The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) suggests some options in a darkly funny ad.
Weekly Pulse: Paul Ryan's Medicare swindle | Apr 13 2011 | Lindsay Beyerstein | Robert Parry in In These Times examines how Paul Ryan's budget test would turn health care for the elderly into one big free-market death panel.
Weekly Pulse: GOP would privatize Medicare, gut Medicaid | Apr 7 2011 | Lindsay Beyerstein | On Tuesday, Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) unveiled a draft budget resolution for 2012. Ryan's program would privatize Medicare and gut Medicaid.
Weekly Pulse: Florida governor wants to drug test all state employees | Mar 30 2011 | Lindsay Beyerstein | Florida Republican Governor Rick Scott plans to force public workers and welfare recipients to undergo random drug testing every three weeks.
Weekly Pulse: Vermont poised to pass single-payer | Mar 23 2011 | Lindsay Beyerstein | Vermont is poised to abolish most forms of private health insurance. The state's newly inaugurated Democratic governor, Peter Shumlin, unveiled his health insurance plan in early February.
Weekly Pulse: 911 is a joke (because it's broke) | Mar 10 2011 | Lindsay Beyerstein | As the Great Blizzard of 2010 blanketed New York City, most residents were blissfully unaware that their city's 911 system was on the brink of collapse.

The Canadian System

  • Canadians pick their own doctors.
  • Doctors run their own private practices; they don't work for the government.
  • The government is the sole insurance agency, or the only (single) "payer" to pay doctors.
  • Per capita costs for health care in Canada, according to the OECD, is 46% lower than in the U.S. (And in the U.S. lack of health insurances causes about 18,000 deaths a year.)

Further reading: