August 10th, 2009
03:01 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama: Canadian health care model won't work in U.S.

Speaking in Mexico Monday, President Obama said a Canadian model for health care won't work in the United States.
Speaking in Mexico Monday, President Obama said a Canadian model for health care won't work in the United States.

GUADALAJRA, Mexico (CNN) - President Barack Obama said Monday that Canada's government-run health care model won't work in the United States.

"We've got to develop a uniquely American approach to this problem," Obama said at the final news conference of his North American summit with Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon.

Opponents of health-care legislation in the U.S. House and Senate say it will lead to a single-payer system like the government-run program in Canada, with some warning the Canadian system means restrictions on treatments and long delays.

Obama noted the U.S. system is based on employers providing health insurance for most Americans. Throwing that out would be too radical an overhaul, he said.

"The Canadian model won't work in the United States," he said. However, he said he expects opponents of health-care legislation to continue to make what he called the misleading comparison between proposed U.S. legislation and Canada's system.

"I suspect that you Canadians are going to continue to get dragged into the debate," he said.


Filed under: Canada • Health care • President Obama
soundoff (209 Responses)
  1. Tom

    "I suspect that you Canadians are going to continue to get dragged into the debate," he said.

    Debate? What Debate???? The Dems have already stated that they are going to pass this with or without Republician support.

    That sure does not sound like depate to me.

    August 10, 2009 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  2. Jim

    President Obama has got it right. He understands the complexities or US health care, cased as it is on employers providing health insurance for most Americans. He is going to let Congress develop a compromise acceptable to most Americans that will meet his core objectives. He is guiding us through this most difficult political question.

    August 10, 2009 04:03 pm at 4:03 pm |
  3. anti liberal

    really Mr President?

    that's not what you said via the Drudge report. YOu told the AFL CIO that it would take 10-15-20 years to get what you want, ie the Canadian system.

    this man can't keep track of his lies.

    August 10, 2009 04:04 pm at 4:04 pm |
  4. Pat F

    What was that time course for destroying employer provided coverage, again, Barry? Ten to fifteen years?

    IN YOUR DREAMS! Start house-hunting, Barry. Maybe between Rezko and Countrywide, you can get an even bigger house!

    August 10, 2009 04:05 pm at 4:05 pm |
  5. anti liberal

    is SEIU making the Gulfstream planes for peLIEsi and her cronies??? I wouldn't be surprised.

    August 10, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  6. pvr

    Of course, because it doesn't work in Canda either. My friends from Canada commute to the U.S. to get ready health care in critical situations. Be careful for what you wish, America.

    August 10, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  7. kevin

    Obama... scare the insurane comapnies with signle payer.
    Then fall back to the public Insurance option.

    August 10, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  8. LIinPA

    Tort Reform, Mr. Obama, why don't you implement that if you seriously want reform....You are the president now, NEWS FLASH! That means you get to fix problems that you say are inherited ones, not make them worse...so let's see some action, not hear some lip

    August 10, 2009 04:06 pm at 4:06 pm |
  9. Brad

    I think it is hilarious that people keep saying that the systems in Canada and England "don't work." They have only been working for the last 50-60 years. WE are the ones who have a messed up health care system. WE are the ones that allow our citizens to die because they can't pay up. The rest of the world laughs at us because we would rather let our own people die and take their money rather than actually give them the health care that they need. It is embarrassing to see all the opposition to a plan that helps people. All these people should be ashamed of themselves.

    August 10, 2009 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  10. Paula - Ill

    Just because he uses his lawyer words to sweet talk, don't believe anything this person says. This health care reform (abortion, euthanasia, pain, lack of treatments, etc) was his idea to start with to go along with his idea of the greening of America. Seniors and infants are especially at risk of their lives; only people 15 – 45 years are in the protected group for priority treatments ("to keep costs as low as possible). It's cheaper to euthanize than to do chemotherapy, for instance.

    August 10, 2009 04:09 pm at 4:09 pm |
  11. Mississippi Mike

    Ask your state's Senators the difference between Canada's plan and Obama's plan. When they deride your for being a corporate tool and won't actually answer the question, you'll have your answer.

    August 10, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  12. Jon in CA

    Anyone who continues believing ANYTHING Obama says needs to have their HEAD examined!

    Obama has repeatedly broken his promises or made false statements:

    No Lobbyists in his Administration?? OOPS
    Soldiers home in 16 months?? OOPS
    Closing GITMO?? OOPS
    Unemployment NOT to exceed 8%?? OOPS
    Cash-for-Clunkers only needed $1 Billion?? OOPS

    But you want to trust him with your HEALTHCARE?? NO WAY!!

    August 10, 2009 04:10 pm at 4:10 pm |
  13. Marty

    Someone please answer the following questions:

    How come that single payer systems work in Europe, i.e., Germany, Switzerland, France, Italy, Austria, Skandinavia, no name only a few.

    I have yet to find anybody in Europe who has to deplete his/her own retirement savings to recover from an extended hospital stay. It is unheard of that a person has to sell one's house and belongings to pay for hospital cost and medical supplies. Maybe the European model(s) to health care financing should serve as a starting point to get the private "for profit" actors out of the game. How come that "for profit" organizations are allowed to deal with the health of helpless people ?

    August 10, 2009 04:11 pm at 4:11 pm |
  14. Ken Ko

    I am tired of hearing so many saying the Canadian model won't work in the US. How many even understand how our model works? We can choose our own doctors, who talk directly to the specialists, who also talk directly with hospitals on the best treatment to adminster to patients, and NOT ONCE asking permission from an intermediary like an insurance company. Everyone gets paid according to a provincial-set schedule. Are there private doctors and specialists who don't work in the "system"? Of course. But most do because it is adminstratively simpler and cost all users, i.e. citizens, less. And guess what? If our hospitals can't perform the surgery for lack of manpower, or space, Canada pays for is to be done elsewhere. And our total tax difference with US citizens? A lot less than your average annual premium. So please stop demonizing our system. We had this debate nearly 50 years ago with the same concerns you have, and we now treat health care like we do with public sanitation, police and the postal service. It's a public good.

    August 10, 2009 04:12 pm at 4:12 pm |
  15. What a Joke the GOP as become

    If the right is so concerned about spending and deficets, then where are the ideas. If spending is so out of control, then where are the solution. Tax cuts alone will not solve the conuntry's finanical delimar. I know the right is not so stupid to think that healthcare cost is not directly related to the country's ill's on reform.

    I was also under the impression that America as grown since the creation of our constitution, and would assert that that having a healthy and respectable debate with real ideas and concerns would help reform a healthcare system that is broken.

    What would of happened if our forefather acted stupidly, just like these right wing nut jobs. We properly would of been occuppied a century ago.

    August 10, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  16. Lauren

    Anyone sincerely wants to know what is in the Health Care Bill can go online and read it. There is also information on the proposals from both dems and repubs, as well as who is supporting what. People who are buying in to the misinformation are doing so on purpose. They don't know what the truth is because they don't want to know.

    August 10, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  17. Zero.

    Canada does not have a Socialist at the Helm..

    August 10, 2009 04:13 pm at 4:13 pm |
  18. Rich

    He has changed his approach each time when selling this healthcare pig and calls opponents misleading. Theres Obama for you.

    August 10, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  19. Regressive Party Refugee (former republican)

    No! No! No! No! Rush said all democrats want is to impose a medieval foreign dictatorial health care system on us proud upstanding paragons of liberty, virtue and all that is right in the world! Are you suggesting, Obama, sir, that Rush was not telling the truth? How can that be? I hear this truth repeated endlessly from Hannity, Beck, Coulter, O'Reilly, Savage, on any Fox news report, and from all the parrot-brained ditto-heads, so it MUST be what you are trying to do! Don't lie to us Obama – all these armchair experts know exactly what you are up to! Quit trying to throw us off with truth, facts, and logic – we know those are just tools of left wing deception!!

    August 10, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  20. Nathaniel H. Wheeler

    I would like to have the people developing heath care to first write out the proposals for Health Care in plain English before they write it in legal language. This would enable us to understand better what they are asking us to support.

    August 10, 2009 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  21. TCM

    Obviously, by the postings here, Obama supporters simply cannot read and comprehend what the healthcare bill entails......it's sad to see so many people in this country (can't really call Obama supporters, "true Americans,") who have fallen for this snake charmer's spew......read the bill, people, if you're just plain stupid, have someone read it for you...comprehend it......It's going to be, in it's current form, the single worst event that could happen to our nation's economy....EVER.....Sure, we need some changes with TORT REFORM...but we have the best healthcare and doctors...Obama's plan will severely degrade both. You libs that want to cheer on the "Change,' need to realize you're cheering on a bus driving over a cliff.....and you're in the front seat!

    August 10, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  22. Mike Sk

    I am tired of you Americans tell us Canadians how bad our health care system is. Sorry we don't need any of your advice on health care the way you have bungled this debate.

    August 10, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  23. Skip, a black man

    Please all you kooks on the left, STOP try to listen, or read...I know half you only finished 6th grade, but PLEASE!

    August 10, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  24. awaitingliberalizationbyCNN

    This idiot is such a joke only Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid could have conjured him up while they were on an acid trip, before their sex change operations. When are we going to get some real leadership at the national level?

    August 10, 2009 04:21 pm at 4:21 pm |
  25. Ronald Schwartz

    Socialized health care won't work here period.Exchange students from Europe used to tell us all the time.You didn't pay much,but it
    took one of the 15year olds 8 months to get shoulder surgury and her family wasn't even allowed in the room with her. Seniors have a lot to
    fear from Obama's admin. he won't tell the whole truth,he doesn't know whats in the bill either,

    August 10, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
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