Public health care is an issue that has sparked debates both on the social, political, as well as the economic platforms. Moreover, it continues to be a challenge in most countries around the world. Over the years, several opinions have been raised regarding the most effective approach to the matter. Countries such as the United States have adopted capitalist strategies in dealing with public health care, while others like Canada and Mexico have implemented the socialist perspective (Ku et al., 2017). This discussion entails a comparison of the health care system used in the US and Canada. It also involves a personal commentary regarding the two different models.
Analysis of the United States and Canada’s Health Systems
According to the US Health Care Reform reports, the United States spends more funds on health care on individuals than any other country in the world (Papanicolas et al., 2018). For instance, in a 1992 report, over 14 percent of the Gross Domestic Product was spent on health care (Adler et al., 2017). In the 2019 analysis, the US spent an averagely 1,443 dollars per person on pharmaceutical drugs (Adler et al., 2017). Canada is one of the countries in the world with a socialized health system, implying that the government runs a non-profit health insurance entity.
Advantages and Disadvantages of the Systems
Innovation through Competition. Both countries allow private health care insurance companies to operate as a way of encouraging new inventions in the industry. In the United States, for instance, individuals acquire health insurance covers from private entities that act as primary providers. Therefore, the companies compete for customers, including employers, as well as individual consumers. Also, in Canada, most of the services are offered by private providers, including physicians and independently owned hospitals. However, instead of acquiring their pay through claims, they receive funding from the government. Therefore, rivalry in the health care sector helps the private operators to focus on new operational methods and products that benefit the citizens in the most effective manner.
Government Medical Funding. After public outcry about the increasing numbers of uninsured people in the United States in 2008, the government developed plans to fund healthcare to specific populations based on factors such as low income, disabilities, and age. According to Adler et al. (2017), unemployment rates in the United States caused more than 50 million people to remain uninsured in mid-2009. Therefore, through various interventions, vulnerable groups of residents in the United States receive insurance coverage. In Canada, the government funds health insurance covers through the provincial authorities. However, this depends on adherence to the Canada Health Act (CHA) regulations (Ku et al., 2017). The funding helps all the citizens to acquire health insurance.
Support from the Public. The Canadian system of health care receives enormous support from the locals because it involves straightforward processes (Ku et al., 2017). Despite the conflicting reports that show resistance to the system, 94 percent of the Canadians maintain that the socialist approach to health care is a pride for their country (Ku et al., 2017). Also, a section of the United States residents supports their system because taxpayers do not pay for medical insurance for every other single individual.
Expensive Health System. Many reports have proved that healthcare services in the United States are extremely costly. Besides, individuals who are underinsured or uninsured can only access limited insurance health packages. The burden lies on the low-income earners because they cannot afford some of the insurance covers.
Increase in United States Debts. Since the implementation of universal medical care, the United States government has been accumulating debts, which will greatly contribute to bankruptcy. It uses the funds to support various medical operations because individuals commit fewer taxes for the services. Citizens continue bearing the burden of settling the debts.
Misrepresentation of Data in Canada’s Health System. When citizens conduct transactions, they pay taxes, some of which are directed to health care. However, Canadian nationals claim that some part of their money is lost if they do not receive medical support. Therefore, according to the individuals, the health care system causes unnecessary payments to the government.
Government Interference in Canada. Due to the existing laws, policies, and processes within the health sector are controlled and executed by the federal government (Ku et al., 2017). Politics in the country have created discrimination because people in urban areas have more access to medical help than those living in other places. Moreover, the wealthy tend to receive better health support instead of waiting for governmental processes.
The Canadian socialist approach is better than the American system because citizens do not bear the burden of acquiring insurance covers at high costs. Instead, the government uses taxpayers’ money to fund health processes. Besides, both approaches work towards safeguarding the rivalry in the industry because the competition promotes innovation. However, American residents fear their health care accessibility, while half of the population worry that they might not be able to cater for major illness expenses.
Adler, L., Fiedler, M., & Gronniger, T. (2017). Effects of the medicaid per capita cap included in the house-passed American Health Care Act. Washington, DC: Center for Health Policy at Brookings & USC Schaeffer Center for Health Policy and Economics. https://www.brookings.edu/research/effects-of-the-medicaid-per-capita-cap-included-in-the-house-passed-american-health-care-act/
Ku, L., Steinmetz, E., Brantley, E., Holla, N., & Bruen, B. K. (2017). The American health care act: economic and employment consequences for states. The Commonwealth Fund. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/28613067/P
apanicolas, I., Woskie, L. R., & Jha, A. K. (2018). Health care spending in the United States and other high-income countries. Jama, 319(10), 1024-1039. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/29536101/
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