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Northwest Voices

Seattle Times letters to the editor

December 9, 2013 at 6:25 AM

The U.S. should adopt Canada’s single-payer health-care system

It works and people like it

Initially Republicans killed the Affordable Care Act’s public option that might have led to a national single-payer health-care system. Throughout they’ve relentlessly pursued their self-fulfilling prophecy that all of the ACA shall fail.

Perhaps we should reconsider the single-payer system, even though the ACA still contains very significant improvements over the present system, at somewhat lower costs.

Canadian single-payer universal health-care costs total only 60 percent of the present U.S. system, with better results (life expectancy, infant mortality, etc.). Despite misleading ads by U.S. insurance companies, the Canadian system is also very popular. The evidence? When May 2011 elections gave conservative Prime Minister Stephen Harper a conservative parliamentary majority, guaranteeing passage of any conservative legislation, he quickly assured Canadians of no change in their single-payer system.

University of Toronto researchers said the U.S. could save $27.6 billion yearly by adopting Canada’s single-payer system. A 2008 survey showed U.S. doctors supported a single-payer system by almost 2-to-1: 59 to 32 percent.

— Norm Luther, Spokane

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