Sometimes I really don't understand this place. I mean the U.S., of course.
It is a sad commentary on the pinched and strictly censored level of political discourse in this nation that any serious consideration of Canada's successful approach to health care is simply out of bounds in America. It is nothing short of absurd that even though the nation that is closest to the US geographically, culturally, linguistically and economically has, since 1973, had a system of provincially administered single-payer government-run health systems which have kept the country's health costs at about 3/5 of what they are in the US as a percentage of GDP (9.7% vs. 17% for the US), at the same time serving all people and (not surprisingly) achieving better health statistics than the US, no one in Washington has talked about inviting Canadian health authorities down to explain how their system works and whether it might make sense here.
There has for years been a huge ongoing propaganda campaign by US health care companies and their lobbies to denigrate Canada's system, but the big truth that they cannot deny is that it is loved by Canadians. The best evidence of this: Despite years of conservative governments in Canada, and in the various provinces, no political leader has ever tried to re-privatize health care in Canada. Clearly such an effort would be political suicide, so popular is the system there.
The truth is that every other modern country in the world has long ago figured out that you can't have cost-effective, universal health care unless the government is the paymaster, with prices set by the government. The truth too is that no country that has moved to such a single-payer system has later rejected it--a good indication that the people of these countries are satisfied with the results and with what they're getting for what they're paying.
The fact that there are fifty comments to this article on the Common Dreams site says something about how strongly people feel about this issue.