Health care based on need, not ability to pay, is what the US needs.

Read this article on the myths Americans spread about the Canadian health care system.

One of these myths reminded me of a response I gave to Rep. Timothy V. Johnson (R-IL) a few years ago on a call-in TV talk show when I heard him spreading the lie that hospital waiting lists are so horrible they justify not having any kind of universal health care.

The waiting times for some procedures are longer in Canada than in the United States, but this problem is being actively tackled by the government in the wake of a Canada Supreme Court decision that “access to a waiting list is not access to health care.” However, the decision did not abolish the one-payer system — in fact, it reinforced it by giving the Quebec government, which was the chief object of the lawsuit, 12 months to remedy the situation.

As a result, Quebec is working hard to catch up with the rest of Canada. The average wait for a hip replacement has been reduced to four to five weeks, and knee replacements usually take six to seven weeks. This may still be too long, but if you happen to be one of the 40 million uninsured Americans, you might have to wait forever.