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Canadian versus U.S health care

Canada and the U.S. used to be twins when it came to public-health measurements. Now, after 35 years of Canadian universal health care, Canada’s infant mortality rate is two thirds of that in the U.S, life expectancy is higher, and the per capita spending is half that in the U.S.

A member of our family, in the U.S., was hospitalized without benefits or health insurance and had to sell their home to pay medical bills. This is a common experience for many of the 45 million people in this country who cannot afford health insurance.

I have many relatives who have been cared for under the Canadian system, and I don’t know anyone who had to sell their home to pay their medical bills. Yes, Canada has some problems with its delivery system. Some people may have to wait for elective surgery while the well-to-do will go across the border to be first in line. But overall, Canada has a pretty good system, and Canadian citizens don’t have to go bankrupt to receive medical care.



California almost implemented a health-care system last year that would cover all Californians when state Sen. Sheila Kuehl sponsored the California Health Insurance Reliability Act (SB 840). Unfortunately, our governor vetoed the bill after it was passed by both houses. It is up for consideration again this year. Let your wishes be known.

Lowell Banks




Grass Valley


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