Opinion: Canada prime minister pushing free market principles for single-payer system

VANCOUVER, British Columbia — During the year leading up to the 2008 presidential primaries, my insurance industry colleagues and I were working hard to influence the debate on health care reform.

Our number one objective: make Americans so afraid of “heading down the slippery slope toward socialism” that no candidate would even consider supporting a Canadian-style, single-payer health care system.

Leading the scare campaign behind the scenes was the trade association, America’s Health Insurance Plans. With help from a right-wing Canadian outfit called the Fraser Institute, which has received funding from the Koch brothers and other American donors, AHIP put together a three-ring binder of talking points for insurance company executives to use in speeches and media interviews.

The contribution from the Fraser Institute, a long-time advocate of privatizing the Canadian system, was a handful of selective statistics and anecdotes designed to create a negative perception of single-payer health care.

Former CIGNA executive-turned-whistleblower Wendell Potter is writing about the health care industry and the ongoing battle for health reform for the Center for Public Integrity.

See the complete story at CT News Junkie.



3 responses to “Opinion: Canada prime minister pushing free market principles for single-payer system”

  1. Oldtimer

    Many Canadians who travel are very careful to get back into Canada in less than six months so as not to loose their health plan coverage and are not unhappy with that coverage. However, when a need arises for major surgery those that can travel into our country because they are convinced they get access to better surgeons and better hospitals, even while the patient pays the bill, without insurance coverage.

  2. Sara Sikes

    Canadians are happy with their system and cannot understand why Americans would NOT want a single payer system. Mu step-daughter is a physician living and practicing in Vancouver, and I believe she pays $49 monthly for medical insurance.

  3. EveT

    I am curious how many Canadians actually choose to come to the US for major surgery and pay out of pocket. Knowing how much it costs for even a fairly routine surgery, you’d have to be very, very wealthy Canadian to afford this.

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