Canada made a rare appearance in a US presidential debate Sunday when Donald Trump accused Hillary Clinton of wanting to turn America's system into a "catastrophic" single-payer health system like Canada's.
"You've noticed," he said, "the Canadians, when they need a big operation, they come into the United States in many cases, because their system is so slow."
This idea is often floated by critics of single-payer systems like Canada's on both sides of the border.
But the best-available research shows it's simply not true. Canadians are not fleeing en masse to the US seeking medical care.
The most comprehensive look at the issue was published in Health Affairs in 2002. Entitled "Phantoms in the Snow," researchers gathered data on Canadians' use of the US health care system by surveying US border facilities and America's top-rated hospitals about how often they see Canadians seeking health care. They found this happened rarely.
They also tracked Canadians' behaviors by examining data from the National Population Health Survey, where 18,000 Canadians were asked if they sought medical treatment in the US. "Only 90 of those 18,000 Canadians had received care in the United States; only 20 of them had done so electively."
The Incidental Economist visualized that last point quite nicely: