Canada and U.S

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), June 1, 2009 | Go to article overview

Canada and U.S


Byline: Amanda Carpenter, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Canada and U.S.

Canadian leftists supportive of their country's universal health care program are soliciting donations to send their leader to Washington to meet with Obama Democrats to strategize about implementing a similar system.

A fundraising appeal e-mailed to supporters from Anne McGrath, president of Canada's New Democratic Party (NDP), says: There's a battle over universal health care happening in the United States - and your New Democrats are a part of it. I hope you will lend your support.

Accompanying the mailer is an image of an economy-class plane ticket from Ottawa to Washington for Jack Layton, the party's federal leader and prime minister candidate. In the bottom left corner it says, in screaming all-capital letters: Support Obama's fight for universal health care. Protect Medicare back in Canada.

Mr. Layton is scheduled to deliver a speech on health care at the Woodrow Wilson Center this week. While he is in Washington, he also plans meet with President Obama's communication director, Anita Dunn, who will be traveling later this summer to Canada to speak at an NDP conference.

Canada's New Democrats think that if the U.S. had public health care, it would help tilt their country's political debate.

We do have a health care system here that is, as you know, public and universal, said Layton spokesman Karl Belanger. A stronger health care system in the U.S. would help us protect our health care system here, explaining that there is a push from conservatives to threaten the presence of our system and get for-profit corporations in the system, which is something we fundamentally oppose. They point to the United States for the change that could happen here.

But on the other side of the border, American conservatives who oppose Mr. Obama's health care plan often mention Canada's system. An ad released by Americans for Prosperity, a group that promotes free-market principles, recently featured the story of a Canadian woman who survived brain cancer by coming to the United States to get treatment. …

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