American health insurance companies have a long history of trying to scare Americans away from universal healthcare by claiming that we’ll be stuck with huge waiting lines. As evidence, they usually reference Canada, which has a very popular single-payer system that covers everyone, while spending only about half as much as the U.S.
First, it’s important to clarify that, as in Canada, there are NO waiting lists for emergency procedures. It’s also important to bear in mind that waiting times are a part of every healthcare system. Although patients in some parts of Canada have reported longer wait times for certain non-emergency procedures, it seems to vary widely by province. In many parts of Canada, the waiting times are similar to those in the United States… assuming you have insurance. Overall, the waiting time issue in Canada is much smaller than portrayed by American health insurance companies.