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HDNet's 'Dan Rather Reports' Investigates the Possibility of a Better Health Care System North of the Border
Date:4/13/2009

'Everyone's Covered' presents a view of nationalized health care - Tuesday, April 14 at 8:00 p.m. ET

DALLAS, April 13 /PRNewswire/ -- This Tuesday's "Dan Rather Reports" takes a look into the state of universal health care in Canada, weighing both the pros and cons of the system that has been in place in that country since 1984. What, if anything, could the U.S. learn - good and bad - from the health care system north of our border as we struggle to find a way to cover all of our citizens?

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During the presidential campaign, Barack Obama promised "affordable, accessible health care for all Americans," and one of the big challenges facing the new Administration is how to deliver on that promise. Right now about 48 million Americans have no access to medical insurance, while every other wealthy industrialized nation in the world has universal health care for their citizens, including Canada.

Today Canada spends about half as much per person than the United States does on medical care. And, while doctor and hospital care is free to all, many Canadians find themselves on a waiting list for non-emergency treatments. In some cases, that wait can be months long.

There are private insurance options for residents in other industrialized countries such as Great Britain, France and Germany. But Canadians are not permitted to have insurance for care that the government already pays for. It is illegal for residents to pay doctors for medically necessary treatment outside of the public health care system. This arrangement keeps health care cost under control, but the law has many people frustrated.

"The Canada Health Act is responsible for more deaths, pain and suffering than any other piece of domestic legislation in
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