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Tina's wrong on Canadian healthcare - JOHN TEMPLEMAN

To the editor:

As I sat here, getting ready to eat my breakfast, I picked up the Clayton News Daily, which I read almost every day. I saw where JCPenny is closing down in the mall, and that saddens me. To see another business closing within our county.

Then, I saw Tina Dupuy's column. I admire her writing skills, and I sometimes agree with her articles, but not always in their entirety. She's a very opinionated woman and stands her ground. I truly admire this about her.

She sticks to her guns on any matter she writes about. She is a very talented lady. A class act. But today, I totally do not agree with her.

The reason I disagree is because I have seen the full effects of the Canadian health-care system, and she's way off base with her facts. I am, in no way, going to stop reading Tina's articles, for they do inspire me and give me a different insight on how we think.

But, let me inform her about the Canadian health-care program. I understand she watched a TV show to get her input on this matter. But don't always believe what you see, is my motto -- get the facts. She was right on her first fact, that Canadians don't pay for healthcare. This is true. But what she did not see, or failed to understand, Canadians pay 2 to 3 times more for their products than we do.

This is how they cover their health-care program. Yes, they might not be paying straight out of their pocket for this privilege, but they do pay dearly when they go to the store to buy household goods. This is a fact. All of their products are priced and taxed to cover this free program, and it costs them out-of-pocket way more than our healthcare does.

Second, if you're a Canadian and you have a life-threatening situation -- let's say you might have cancer of the liver, for example -- well, you have to sign up on a list to be seen after you have been diagnosed with said health issue.

Then, it's up to the government when you can be treated or just seen any further for said medical problems. So, three or four months (or longer, in most cases) might roll by before you hear anything.

So, you turn to the alternative, which is to cross the border into the U.S. and seek immediate care, for you don't have long before you could die. This is a fact. It happens every day.

Now, who is responsible for said healthcare here in the U.S.? Our system tends to their needs immediately, and in most cases, the system is not refunded the medical expenses of the Canadian citizen.

We, in fact, absorb the cost. So I think, now Tina, who has the better health-care system? If she still thinks the Canadians do, I urge her to go there and see how it works.

When someone she knows has a life-threatening situation going on, I can bet they will run back to the U.S. to get their treatment. These are just the facts, about the difference between ours and theirs. There is no comparison, and ours is still cheaper.

JOHN TEMPLEMAN Jonesboro