EDITORIAL: Learning from Canada’s mistakes

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Before Americans adopt Canadian-style health care regulations, we might want to ask Canadian doctors what they think of their system. The Canadian Medical Association gathered for its annual meeting on Sunday. Warnings from doctors to our north are important to dispel the Obama administration’s claim that its government takeover is a way to get costs under control.

“We all agree that the system is imploding, we all agree that things are more precarious than perhaps Canadians realize. We know that there must be change,” said Dr. Anne Doig, the Canadian Medical Association’s incoming president, in an interview with the Canadian Press. “[Canadians] have to understand that the system that we have right now — if it keeps on going without change — is not sustainable.”

The current association president, Dr. Robert Ouellet, advised caution as well. According to him, government control of health care in Canada has meant that “a health care revolution has passed us by.” According to the Canadian Press, Dr. Ouellet called for introducing a private health care delivery system to replace at least part of the current government system. In other words, the Canadians want more of what Americans have now as the Obama administration tries to take us in Canada’s direction.

President Obama claimed in New Hampshire last week, “I have not said that I was a single-payer supporter.” As we have written previously, Mr. Obama has, in fact, said many times that he supported a single-payer system. The regulations he supports would give an unfair advantage to government insurance programs that would drive private companies out of business, leaving Americans with an unsustainable Canadian-like system.

Mr. Obama and congressional Democrats aren’t listening to their constituents’ concerns about government health care. Before they push through their plans, we hope they hear Canada’s doctors.

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