Faced with a concerted campaign of misinformation by powerful corporate interests, Canadians are fighting back. has launched a new issues page, Health Care USA, in order to spread the truth about Canada’s universal health-care system.

Late last week, we put out an appeal for testimonials from Canadians, and your letters have already been pouring in; you will find a small sampling of the letters below. We will be collecting all of these testimonials for our American neighbours at the Health Care USA page. Keep them coming — write to [email protected]. (We prefer the messages short and sweet, so do try to keep it to 150 words or less.)

Together, we can do our part to help turn the tide of the health care debate, in both the United States and Canada, and defend health care for all.


A sampling of messages to Americans about Canada’s health-care system


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.


Ron Hansen

Cumberland B.C.


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.


Dear American Neighbours,

The health care system in Canada has been simply wonderful for myself and my friends and family. I am shocked, like many Canadians, by the outright lies being told about Canada’s health care system in the US media. Choosing my own doctor has been a very important part of my health care. I have had the same General Practitioner for 24 years, a fantastic doctor. There is no restriction on treatment for people by age, either, another appalling myth.

My mother is 84 years young and continues to received tremendous health care from an array of doctors, nurses, and other gerontological specialists including dermatologists, social workers, nutrtionists and physiotherapists.

Teams of health professionals in three cities where she has lived in the last 20 years, have made sure she has the best care possible, and the best quality of life possible despite an array of serious physical ailments. Every treatment is covered automatically by our health insurance plan. We could never afford this care on all our family incomes combined, if we had to pay for all these professionals.

In Canada, no money is involved in the provision of health care, wtih very few exceptions. When Canadians need to visit a doctor or a hospital, we show our health card. THAT is what socialized health care looks like. Care for all ages.

The sensationalism of the US media has truly appalled me. This is why I am writing, knowing many friends and family who are living in the US, originally from Canada, and who know what a lot of baloney you are being fed about our health care system. This began as an insurance plan – everyone contributes to it through their taxes and people who need it use it. It has worked very well since the 1960s. I believe it is the *best *system in the world.

Good luck to you – I hope you will consider supporting Obama’s efforts to have a system for all citizens so that no one is left behind and no one gets to make massive profits off the sick and the frail elderly any longer.


Kate Lawton

Toronto, Ontario


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


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


Read more testimonials at our Health Care USA page.

Derrick O'Keefe

Derrick O'Keefe

Derrick O'Keefe is a writer in Vancouver, B.C. He served as's editor from 2012 to 2013 and from 2008 to 2009.