European/Canadian-Americans For Health Care Reform
EUROPEAN AND CANADIAN-AMERICANS FOR HEALTH CARE REFORM (and Against the BS About Our Health Care Systems) We are American citizens and permanent residents who were raised in Europe and Canada. We grew up with health care systems -- some single payer, some a hybrid of private insurance and government investment -- that provide medically advanced and affordable healthcare for all. We wish to support health care reform in the US, and to put a stop to the negative characterizations of the health care systems we grew up with. Critics of health reform in the US persistently invoke these systems (especially the single payer services of Britain and Canada) to scare people by using buzzwords like "socialist," "government interference" and "rationing." But these shallow terms bear no resemblance to the systems we grew up with; on the contrary, we experienced mostly efficient, cost-effective, and high quality care -- care that is good enough for 21 European countries (including Britain) and Canada to have ranked higher than America in the WHO's 2000 global health care survey (see link). Moreover, these systems generally offer, contrary to the "government interference" claim, freedom of choice in providers and other aspects of care. Of course there are occasional medical horror stories that advocates can use to support the argument that those single payer or hybrid systems do not work. But for every one of these stories, there is an equally horrific one in the US, with the major difference being that the sufferer here invariably has the added horror of huge medical bills. It has been reported that 60 percent of personal bankruptcies in the US in 2007 were caused by medical costs. Going bankrupt through health care simply does not happen in Europe and Canada. People go from cradle to grave, whatever their circumstances, secure in the knowledge that they will receive medical treatment. We do not say America should emulate the systems in Europe or Canada, but we do say Americans should not be misled into believing any of those systems are bad models. Much as we love America, we are proud to have been raised in societies where good healthcare is a universal right, and we look forward to the day that all Americans can enjoy that right as well. We urge you to support healthcare reform.