'The overheated rhetoric and outright falsehoods that you’ve heard about the quality and viability of Canada’s system simply do not stand up to scrutiny.' - James Clancy.
Ottawa (24 July 2009) - The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE), one of Canada's largest unions, is asking President Barack Obama and members of the U.S. Congress to look past the "malicious misrepresentations and scare tactics" in their current debate over American health care reform and see the true value of Canada's single-payer health system.
"Our single-payer system is, quite simply, a good and sensible idea that serves Canadians extremely well," NUPGE president James Clancy says in a letter to Obama, U.S. Health Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, and all members of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate.
"The overheated rhetoric and outright falsehoods that you’ve heard about the quality and viability of Canada’s system simply do not stand up to scrutiny," he argues.
Clancy said he felt obligated to write to the U.S. legislators after Prime Minister Harper and Health Minister Aglukkaq refused to step in and counter the anti-Canadian propaganda being spread by private health care interests battling health care reform in the United States.
He says a multi-million-dollar tidal wave of special-interest propaganda is trying desperately to obscure the fact that Canada's single-payer health care system has been "a triumph of values and economics" for more than 40 years.
Health-related bankruptcy unthinkable in Canada
Canadian health outcomes, on almost every critical measure, are among the best in the world, and Medicare covers all Canadians at substantially less cost than U.S. citizens pay for a system that leaves millions without coverage, he notes.
"It’s totally unthinkable to Canadians to experience bankruptcy due to medical bills, as do over one million Americans every year. Unlike in the U.S., not a single Canadian who is unemployed has lost the ability to access health care during the current economic recession."
Canadian health care also gives small and large businesses "a clear competitive advantage" in today's difficult economy by freeing all employers from any obligation to provide health care to their workers. "Our single-payer system does that for them," Clancy says.
And contrary to the egregious misinformation now being widely spread by U.S. special interest groups, Canadians are free to choose any doctor they want and all decisions about personal care and treatment are made by patients and their doctors. "There’s no interference by the government or private insurance companies," Clancy says.
In the letter Clancy also offers to organize a “study mission” for U.S. legislators who are interested in learning first-hand how Canada’s single-payer system actually works.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE
- Mike Luff: 613-228-9800
- Full text of NUPGE letter to President Obama and U.S. legislators
- NUPGE Website www.nupge.ca