Cash cow

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Dear Editor,

Lest our legislators are misled by the lobbying efforts of the pharmaceutical and health insurance industries, they should be aware of a study by the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) entitled “Health at a Glance.”

The study reveals that in 2007, life expectancy in the United States was 78.0 years and infant mortality was 6.4 per thousand births. The figures for Canada were 80.3 and 4.6 respectively.

Statistics provided by the OECD report indicate that the U.S., with its private health care system, spent 16% of its gross domestic product on health, while Canada, with a publicly funded system, spent only 10.1%.

Despite this disparity in spending, Canadians lived longer and more of our infants survived. In a private health care system a sizable proportion of health care funding is directed toward providing profits for corporate shareholders. These international corporations spare no effort in lobbying for the privatization of health care in Canada. I’ve no doubt they view Canada as a nice fat cash cow, ready to be milked.

William Dascavich

Edmonton, Alberta

Organizations: OECD, Dear Editor

Geographic location: Canada, United States, Edmonton Alberta

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