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Both the United States and Canada's healthcare have good and bad points. Both, evidently, are what the peoples of our countries want; this is fine, and what democracy is all about.
What I haven't seen is a comparison of apples to apples. I will attach a few items to consider as I seem unable to attach them here.
Realistically, an open minded person might come to the conclusion that they both even out... or not. Bottom line, to quote a depression era saying my grandpappy taught me: "there aint no free lunch". Unless people believe that somehow the US has a big savings account (if you do, you should read more), so Universal healthcare means universally paid for. If not directly, then "the ole' bait and switch" that politicians use.

Read and comment. Personally, I believe that currently, there is not that much difference between the two, except we pay in money and the Canadians pay in wait times, and less coverage. AGAIN, I am not saying it is a bad system. It works for the Canadians, and, as an American, how could I possibly give an unbiased opinion on THEIR system; I have never used it.
 

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United States has 327 percent more MRI units and 183 percent more CT scanners per million population. The United States also produces 100 percent more inpatient surgical procedures per million population, and it has 14 percent more physicians and 19 percent more nurses per million population.
In 1993, Canadian patients waited an average of 9.3 weeks between the time they saw their family physician and the time they actually received the treatment they needed. By 2007, the average wait time had almost doubled to 18.3 weeks. The median wait time in Canada is nearly double the wait time that physicians consider clinically reasonable.
The Canadian single-payer system does not cover prescription drugs on a universal basis. Only about one-third of the Canadian population is eligible for various government-financed drug programs. The remainder of the population has private sector drug insurance coverage or pays cash for outpatient drugs, just like in the United States
Public drug plans in Canada often refuse to cover new drugs. On average, only 44 percent of all new drugs that were approved as safe and effective by the Canadian government in 2004 were actually covered by government drug insurance programs in October 2007. Even for the small percentage of new drugs that are covered by public drug programs, patients have to wait nearly one year, on average, after government approval for public insurance to start covering these new drugs
Between the fiscal years 1997-98 and 2006-07, government spending on healthcare grew in all 10 Canadian provinces at an average annual rate of 7.3 percent, while total available provincial revenue grew at an average annual rate of 5.9 percent and provincial GDP grew at an average annual rate of 5.6 percent. This level of government healthcare spending is unsustainable over the long haul
Government data show that an estimated 1.7 million Canadians—in a country of around 33-34 million—were unable to access a regular family physician in 2007. Without access to a family doctor, a person can’t obtain regular primary care or referrals for elective specialty medical services
Indeed, the estimated percentage of the population that was “effectively” uninsured for non-emergency, necessary medical services in 2007 was not that different in the United States and Canada: 7.9 percent in the United States compared to at least 6 percent in Canada.
Ironically, while Canadian-style healthcare appears to be gaining support in the United States, it is losing support and legitimacy in Canada. In a 2005 case challenging Quebec’s government-run health insurance program, the Supreme Court of Canada declared the single-payer system a violation of a person’s right to preserve his or her own health. Similar cases are now underway in two other Canadian provinces
Overhauling health-care system tops agenda at annual meeting of Canada's doctors
By Jennifer Graham (CP)
SASKATOON — The incoming president of the Canadian Medical Association says this country's health-care system is sick and doctors need to develop a plan to cure it.
Dr. Anne Doig says patients are getting less than optimal care and she adds that physicians from across the country - who will gather in Saskatoon on Sunday for their annual meeting - recognize that changes must be made.
"We all agree that the system is imploding, we all agree that things are more precarious than perhaps Canadians realize," Doing said in an interview with The Canadian Press.
"We know that there must be change," she said. "We're all running flat out, we're all just trying to stay ahead of the immediate day-to-day demands."
The pitch for change at the conference is to start with a presentation from Dr. Robert Ouellet, the current president of the CMA, who has said there's a critical need to make Canada's health-care system patient-centred. He will present details from his fact-finding trip to Europe in January, where he met with health groups in England, Denmark, Belgium, Netherlands and France.
His thoughts on the issue are already clear. Ouellet has been saying since his return that "a health-care revolution has passed us by," that it's possible to make wait lists disappear while maintaining universal coverage and "that competition should be welcomed, not feared."
In other words, Ouellet believes there could be a role for private health-care delivery within the public system.
He has also said the Canadian system could be restructured to focus on patients if hospitals and other health-care institutions received funding based on the patients they treat, instead of an annual, lump-sum budget. This "activity-based funding" would be an incentive to provide more efficient care, he has said.
Doig says she doesn't know what a proposed "blueprint" toward patient-centred care might look like when the meeting wraps up Wednesday. She'd like to emerge with clear directions about where the association should focus efforts to direct change over the next few years. She also wants to see short-term, medium-term and long-term goals laid out.
"A short-term achievable goal would be to accelerate the process of getting electronic medical records into physicians' offices," she said. "That's one I think ought to be a priority and ought to be achievable."
A long-term goal would be getting health systems "talking to each other," so information can be quickly shared to help patients.
Doig, who has had a full-time family practice in Saskatoon for 30 years, acknowledges that when physicians have talked about changing the health-care system in the past, they've been accused of wanting an American-style structure. She insists that's not the case.
"It's not about choosing between an American system or a Canadian system," said Doig. "The whole thing is about looking at what other people do."
"That's called looking at the evidence, looking at how care is delivered and how care is paid for all around us (and) then saying 'Well, OK, that's good information. How do we make all of that work in the Canadian context? What do the Canadian people want?' "
Doig says there are some "very good things" about Canada's health-care system, but she points out that many people have stories about times when things didn't go well for them or their family.
"(Canadians) have to understand that the system that we have right now - if it keeps on going without change - is not sustainable," said Doig.
"They have to look at the evidence that's being presented and will be presented at (the meeting) and realize what Canada's doctors are trying to tell you, that you can get better care than what you're getting and we all have to participate in the discussion around how do we do that and of course how do we pay for it."
 

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It works for the Canadians, and, as an American, how could I possibly give an unbiased opinion on THEIR system; I have never used it.
I've used the American system back in 1980 and it gave me my first appreciation of being under the Canadian health system.

Stuball
 

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I've used the American system back in 1980 and it gave me my first appreciation of being under the Canadian health system.

Stuball
One thing I've noticed in all the postings in regards to the healthcare
system is that a lot of our neighbors to the north have chimed in
with nothing but positive things to say about their form of healthcare.


John
 

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Then, unlike most, you actually have more of an honest opinion about what you like, and can speak with some authority. I'm not sure in what context you had to use our system, and am sorry that it did not do as well for you as you hoped.

I have, however, seen no less than three news stories in two weeks, about Canadians coming here for surgeries they need. Evidently, there is are businesses in Canada that match Canadians up with US healthcare. I am unaware of any US businesses that match Americans up with Canadian healthcare. I don't even know if the Canadian Government would allow it.

My point was that there are two sides, to this story, and many would villify an opposing viewpoint.

I am also VERY concerned that there is a website that people can e-mail a whitehouse representative, and give names of those who oppose the currently proposed changes. I certainly hope there is nothing like that in Canada. Note that the AP has chosen not to cover it. I am aware of only the Wall street Journal and a few Sunday talk shows that covered it.

Regardless of ourpreferences, Iwould hope that both our countrymen can see the dark path that would take us down, no matter how well the intent supposedly is.
 

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One thing I've noticed in all the postings in regards to the healthcare
system is that a lot of our neighbors to the north have chimed in
with nothing but positive things to say about their form of healthcare.


John
Canada, as everyone would know, had the private health care system before it brought in unversal care. The province of Saskatchewan was the first to implement it in the 1950's. The doctors there even went on strike for a short time. The Premier of Saskatchewan at the time that brought in this universal medicare system was a man named Tommy Douglas (who also happened to be the grandfather of actor Kiefer Sutherland). Tommy Douglas went on to lobby for a federal universal health care system in Canada.

Decades later in an tv interview with a former hard-line conservative Prime Minister of Canada named John Diefenbaker, he was asked if he had any regrets in his political career. He responded just one, he regretted opposing universal health care.

Stuball
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Canada, as everyone would know, had the private health care system before it brought in unversal care. The province of Saskatchewan was the first to implement it in the 1950's. The doctors there even went on strike for a short time. The Premier of Saskatchewan at the time that brought in this universal medicare system was a man named Tommy Douglas (who also happened to be the grandfather of actor Kiefer Sutherland). Tommy Douglas went on to lobby for a federal universal health care system in Canada.

Decades later in an tv interview with a former hard-line conservative Prime Minister of Canada named John Diefenbaker, he was asked if he had any regrets in his political career. He responded just one, he regretted opposing universal health care.

Stuball
Good info;

The United States, at least according to my public education in Texas, was founded on a very basic principle of less government, as compared to our forefathers lands. Obviously, there are exceptions, and it would be somewhat subjective as to what those exceptions are to each individual, but in very broad strokes, less government none-the-less.

That being said, there tends to be a certain amount of distrust towards politicians in general. This is currently exacerbated by the fact that the news is full of lawyers who themselves are unable to make sense of the 1100 page bill, and public representatives who had not, as of the time the bill was made public, even attempted to read it.

Most still have not.

AARP has lost 60,000 members since 01 July because of this.

There is a saying that is used at times: "plagerism is authorized" (for in-house use of technical data that is not governed by "intillectual property rights"; especially if something was done correctly by someone else, and it works). Perhaps there is a nation with such a perfect healthcare system that we could copy; perhaps one in which the people understand exactly what their governing documents state, and would be willing to share this with our representatives, allowing them to use said document as a "starting point" from which to draft a bill that is actually in plain language, and can be understood, (even by lawyers).

I honestly do not know much about the Canadian health care system. I can say for a fact, though, that many of our elected officials are touting it as an example to follow; hence my interest.

I can honestly state as well that personally, I have yet to see one public official bring thecurrently proposed bill to a town hall meeting, and refer to a page and paragraph when responding to questions put forth by our citizens; hence my distrust. I would be somewhat mollified if the elected officials could at least refer to SOME pages and paragraphs when answering questions of concerned citizens.

I have a difficult time, also, in believing that our northern bretheren had a point of contact in which to turn a neighbor's name in to a government official, if said neighbor disagreed on something, when their health care system was being evaluated by its representatives.

I suspect I am not alone in this regard, and hope that with this thread, perhaps some opinons can be shared; better yet, dig up and share some "apples to apples" comparisons.
 

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Then, unlike most, you actually have more of an honest opinion about what you like, and can speak with some authority. I'm not sure in what context you had to use our system, and am sorry that it did not do as well for you as you hoped.

I have, however, seen no less than three news stories in two weeks, about Canadians coming here for surgeries they need. Evidently, there is are businesses in Canada that match Canadians up with US healthcare. I am unaware of any US businesses that match Americans up with Canadian healthcare. I don't even know if the Canadian Government would allow it.

My point was that there are two sides, to this story, and many would villify an opposing viewpoint.

I am also VERY concerned that there is a website that people can e-mail a whitehouse representative, and give names of those who oppose the currently proposed changes. I certainly hope there is nothing like that in Canada. Note that the AP has chosen not to cover it. I am aware of only the Wall street Journal and a few Sunday talk shows that covered it.

Regardless of ourpreferences, Iwould hope that both our countrymen can see the dark path that would take us down, no matter how well the intent supposedly is.
I did find an article about Americans using Canadian health care

Bill Mann: Americans Who've Used Canada's Health-Care System Respond to Current Big-Lie Media Campaign
 

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I just read an article on CNN's website, and it said something that really made a lot of sense. Although you may have to wait in a line that is a little longer to have a hip replacement done in Canada than in the U.S., at least you are in line, which cannot be said for millions of people in the U.S.
 

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I just read an article on CNN's website, and it said something that really made a lot of sense. Although you may have to wait in a line that is a little longer to have a hip replacement done in Canada than in the U.S., at least you are in line, which cannot be said for millions of people in the U.S.
Read the second post, It states that in Canada, 1.7 million Canadians, out of a country of roughly 33-34 million people, did not get healthcare in Canada. That number is comparable to some US per capita statistics.

Again, Lets compare apples to apples. Consider I am not toeing the party line. Sway me with the math.
 

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I am sorry, but the Huffington Post is actually not considered credible, by most Americans. In fact, consider that many posts that make it to the huffington post, would not be considered as acceptible on Tundra Solutions, as they would run contrary to many rules we ascribe to here.

Again; in the second post, I quoted Canadian government officials speaking to your own health care system. They also wanted to know how to pay for it.

Sway me with facts. What did the Canadian Government do to fix this problem, or does it still exist? Apples to apples. Post some facts here that you wish our elected officials would respond to town hall questions with.
 

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H.R. 3200 America's Affordable Health Choices Act of 2009. What a mouthful and indicative of the substance of this legislative monstrosity. This document did not come about in a spark of spontaneous generation. HR 3200 has been sitting around in someone's file cabinet for years only to be dusted off at an opportune time by influential radicals to play on an entitlement mentality and to incite class envy. I'd bet that portions of this harken back to Hillary Care which was stillborn and entombed but has now been exhumed burial shroud and all for an encore.

I have read portions of this bill only to come away confused by the legalese, titles, subtitles, sections, covert definitions and so on. The tax code is a much more interesting tome.

Betsy McCaughey has the most insightful synopsis of this legislation and I recommend her detailed examination for those who requiring an explanation in plain English. Incidentally it was McCaughey's magazine article "No Exit" in 1994 which is credited with sinking the Clinton heath plan. Another brief dissection is highlighted here: The Health Care Bill
 

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Read the second post, It states that in Canada, 1.7 million Canadians, out of a country of roughly 33-34 million people, did not get healthcare in Canada.
Actually, Bubba, that is incorrect. It states in your second post: "Government data show that an estimated 1.7 million Canadians—in a country of around 33-34 million—were unable to access a regular family physician in 2007."

Although they may have been unable in some larger centers of Canada to find their own primary caregiver there are still walk-in clinics all over the place to ensure all Canadians can obtain healthcare.

Canada at present does have a shortage of doctors.

Stuball
 

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Read the second post, It states that in Canada, 1.7 million Canadians, out of a country of roughly 33-34 million people, did not get healthcare in Canada. That number is comparable to some US per capita statistics.

Again, Lets compare apples to apples. Consider I am not toeing the party line. Sway me with the math.
First of all, what is their definition of not getting healthcare? If it means they cannot see a doctor, that they get turned away at a medical clinic or hospital, that is a crock. I have never heard of anybody who has ever been denied access to health care. Period.

I know people with all kinds of crazy medical conditions, none of them have ever said they have been denied health care.

If by denying healthcare, they mean, people who want to get a hip replacement today and were told to wait, then its possible. However, those people get the hip replacement, that isn't an outright denial.
 

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I am sorry, but the Huffington Post is actually not considered credible, by most Americans. In fact, consider that many posts that make it to the huffington post, would not be considered as acceptible on Tundra Solutions, as they would run contrary to many rules we ascribe to here.
The link to the Huffington Post article that Hick posted you don't find credible. Perhaps you feel that way from some past findings in their articles. However, with my life experience under the Canadian Healthcare system, I found it very credible and accurate. I cannot say the same for Fox News in their assessment of the Canadian system.

Again; in the second post, I quoted Canadian government officials speaking to your own health care system. They also wanted to know how to pay for it.
In the article you pasted in your second post I found no quotes from Canadian government officials. Dr. Ann Doig is president of the Canadian Medical Association (CMA) in which the membership is made up of physicians. The CMA is a lobby group that lobbys Canadian government. A number of doctors have lobbied for setting up private clinics so they can charge what they want and make more money. They want to serve those who can afford to pay extra for immediate care rather than having to que in line like the rest do...in other words, they want to feed off the rich to get rich.

Stuball
 

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Actually, Bubba, that is incorrect. It states in your second post: "Government data show that an estimated 1.7 million Canadians—in a country of around 33-34 million—were unable to access a regular family physician in 2007."

Although they may have been unable in some larger centers of Canada to find their own primary caregiver there are still walk-in clinics all over the place to ensure all Canadians can obtain healthcare.

Canada at present does have a shortage of doctors.

Stuball
Thanks Stuball, I didn't actually check the source, which I should have.

Stu is quite right, you don't need to have a family doctor in order to get health care, you can go to any health clinic. In Ontario, you simply walk in the door, present them with your health care card, and take a seat.

Without a family doctor, simply using a walk-in clinic, I've received a variety of medical treatment. In addition, we can walk into ANY hospital and see a doctor who will treat us.

I didn't have a family doctor for years while I attended University, not because one wasn't available, but because I really didn't see the need because I was living in a new city and knew I was going to be there temporarily.

NOBODY is told they can't see a doctor...there's a difference.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Actually, Bubba, that is incorrect. It states in your second post: "Government data show that an estimated 1.7 million Canadians—in a country of around 33-34 million—were unable to access a regular family physician in 2007."

Although they may have been unable in some larger centers of Canada to find their own primary caregiver there are still walk-in clinics all over the place to ensure all Canadians can obtain healthcare.

Canada at present does have a shortage of doctors.

Stuball
Hi, Stuball;

I do appreciate the reply, and apologize for being a bit tardy. I know sometimes, people try to stir up a hornets nest, and then back away. I sincerely do not want anyone to get that impression. That being said, I will be out of pocket until Monday, but please continue to give your opinions and facts, and hopefully others will comment. We are getting close to what the American public, I believe, had hoped to see in the town hall meetings.

Still not enough "apples to apples", though. I had hoped for more.

The quote above had more to it; I believe they were referring not in the ability to get a walk-in for the more mundane issues, but the requirement for the family care physician and only that individual, to make referrals for follow-on care, or more serious stuff like surgeries. Contrary to what is being relayed in the news, anyone in America can go into an emergency room and seek care.

ERs are what we are lacking here in America (which are extremely overcrowded), which is generally due to insurance premium costs, from what I have read. This is one of the issues that have been recommended for change by the left, the center and right of center parties for over a decade. Nothing new, but, again, there is not one politicain that can point to the fact that it is covered in plain language in the bill, as the American People have asked. The issue of health care reform has gone on for quite a few years, in many forms, as referenced in a previous post.

Please consider this: The editor of the Wall Street Journal I forget his name), and a lawyer (Greta Van Sustren; formerly of CNN) who has read the proposed bill, were looking at the provisions on payment; a 2.5% tax on certain individuals. It appeared that perhaps this would be on individuals without current insurance, but they truly could not tell. The biggest problem they saw, was that two people with masters degrees, actually felt sorry for the individual who would be the first to put this bill into action, if it is passed, as it was neither logical, nor understandable. This is not right. Even if a few of my facts are slightly off, as I am trying to quote from memory, It is not right. It is also not an indictment of the Canadian healthcare system. As I indicated before, I doubt very seriously that this is a replica of your healthcare system. As both of us are hard working people, I would ask those that would read these posts this: If you and I were to write an employee handbook for our employers, and we were to give a product as poorly written as this bill, it would get scrapped, and we would likely not be asked to write it again. It would not be for political reasons, it would be because we failed to provide something the employees could understand and make use of.

It would be a mistake for intelligent people to assume that everything billed as "National Healthcare", from whatever country, was exactly alike, and transpose our own feelings of nationalism onto anothers issues.

As far as whom to trust that is reporting on this: I generally trust printed media first, then TV news media; they have editors and a means of accountability, even if it is publicly available financial records, and a face and company name that can be sued in the event of slander and falsehood. Neilson ratings are a generally good accountability of how many people watch or read that media, which is generally a good accounting of where they feel they get the most reliable, if not completely trusted, information. Whether we like it or not, money talks; if the media gets the viewers, it will stay. If not, they will not (back to publicly available financial records). For those that are interested, check out FOX New's Neilson ratings, and make an educated guess as to how many Dems are watching that channel.

I trust the internet, to which virtually anyone, can post virtually anything (with little accountability), second to last, and a government controlled media of any sort, last.

The ONLY government controlled media of any account in the US, is taxpayer funded NPR (which also accepts donations).

The biggest issues IMO, are that we cannot understand the bill, and if we were able to, can we financially afford what we understand the bill to be.
 

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The quote above had more to it; I believe they were referring not in the ability to get a walk-in for the more mundane issues, but the requirement for the family care physician and only that individual, to make referrals for follow-on care, or more serious stuff like surgeries.
I can't answer that because I don't know what the procedures are in the Canadian medical system. One fact is that a primary caregiver, or family doctor, is a physician. It is also physicians that are the care givers at walk-in clinics. I don't understand why a family doctor can only give referals to their patients; whereas a doctor in the clinic has to tell his patient he is going to die because of being unable to refer the patient to a required specialist. If that were the case there would be a lot more dead people making the news.

Stuball
 

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I can't answer that because I don't know what the procedures are in the Canadian medical system. One fact is that a primary caregiver, or family doctor, is a physician. It is also physicians that are the care givers at walk-in clinics. I don't understand why a family doctor can only give referals to their patients; whereas a doctor in the clinic has to tell his patient he is going to die because of being unable to refer the patient to a required specialist. If that were the case there would be a lot more dead people making the news.

Stuball
Evidently, that's two of us. Again, how accurate is the information I recieved, and how accurate is the news you recieve? Who knows? any answer wouldbe subjective.

In America, a "Family Doctor" or " Primary Caregiver" is also a physician, but is stipulated in many cases by name, or hospital. This is also true for military dependants. ERs are, again, different. Anyone can go to an ER. I cannot say why this is so; perhaps someones idea of easier tracing or paperwork? Who knows....

An example i give, iswhile moving across country to another duty station, my wife got sick. About half way across, the wife gets sick. I call the military insurance, and find an approved clinic in the town we are at. The wife of an active duty friend actually used this clinic. I am thinking it will save taxpayer money (my money, in the overall scheme of things), as ER costs are extraordinary. I call, and get a verbal confirmation.

To make a long story short, never take a verbal. That clinic did not match up with my wifes name, and the "pre-approval process" that was used. It took three years to square that away. I should have taken her straight to the ER. It would have been easier in the long run. Bottom line, someone somewhere tracks patient to doctor for everything. I would assume it is the same in every country, else there would be no accountability for funds the gov't or insurance pay to that hospital or doctor for services rendered. Paperwork intensive, I believe.

One thing I have heard, but have not verified, and hope to find an answer to: I have heard in the news media that Canada pays a flat rate to hospitals, i.e., a busy hospital gets paid the same as a slow hospital, with fewer patients. The presumption is that a hospital is "manned" based on the number of beds or units, and not by traffic flow. Do you know if this is this true?
 

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I have heard in the news media that Canada pays a flat rate to hospitals, i.e., a busy hospital gets paid the same as a slow hospital, with fewer patients. The presumption is that a hospital is "manned" based on the number of beds or units, and not by traffic flow. Do you know if this is this true?
I don't know, I would have to check it out. IMO, hospitals in Canada should be reimbursed for the capacity they serve, not a flat rate. Having said that, I do not know what the Canadian governments policy is regarding the issue. Is that a serious problem in dealing whether or not universal health care is achievable?:unsure:

Stuball
 
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