Paper Example: The Canadian and US Healthcare Systems

Published: 2023-03-02
Paper Example: The Canadian and US Healthcare Systems
Type of paper:  Research paper
Categories:  United States Problem solving Healthcare policy Public health
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1348 words
12 min read

A good healthcare system is vital for the prosperity of a country. A good healthcare system of a country means that the citizens have access to combat illnesses and are not financially burdened as a result of healthcare. A better healthcare system in a country is one of the major contributors to a healthy economy. Prosperous countries have advanced healthcare systems compared to the developing countries making the healthcare systems to differ from one country to the other. Countries implement healthcare systems based on the healthcare needs of their target population. For instance, the United States implements a combination of private health insurance and public health coverage which include Medicare and Medicaid. Canada, on the other hand, takes the Universal Healthcare approach which is publicly funded and provides equitable access to the physicians as well as the hospital services. The two countries, United States and Canada, have various similarities and differences in the health systems they have implemented. This paper looks into these existing differences between the healthcare systems implemented by the United States and Canada and discusses the need for United States to change to the Universal Healthcare approach implemented by Canada.

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The implementation of a given healthcare system by a country is aimed at bringing health justice to the citizens of the given country. Because of the critical role played by the health care sector in the prosperity of a nation, there is a greater need to ensure that health justice, which is a complex ethical principle, is observed in the administration of the services. Health justice is a complex ethical principle in that it ranges from the fair treatment of the citizens to the equitable allocation of the healthcare resources as well as dollars (Chao, Maria and Shelley 102). Citizens are the major stakeholders of any given country. Thus, they deserve to be prioritized. Prioritizing the citizens of a country would call upon the government to ensure fairness in the healthcare coverage, equality, as well as equitability in treatment. In order to achieve these key aspects of justice in healthcare, health justice operates on the principles of social justice which are based on the principle that every individual deserves equal rights and opportunities which is inclusive of the right to good health (Krau 17; Chao, Maria and Shelley 102).

The right to good health is echoed in the constitution of every country across the globe. Governments of these countries pass laws regarding healthcare to ensure that their citizens are protected and covered. However, the healthcare systems implemented by the countries differ. Looking into the healthcare systems of the United States which is a combination of private health insurance and public health coverage and that of Canada which is a Universal Healthcare approach, notable disparity exists in the coverages (Klau 3). The United States health care system, as opposed to the Canadian healthcare system, is expensive for the citizens. The healthcare system of the United States is expensive due to the high administrative costs that arise from the discombobulation and fragmentation of the system.

The existence of two parallel systems, the private and the public coverage, within the United States healthcare system makes it disastrous while moving from one system to the other. During such transitions, the data of the citizens often get lost and becomes difficult to trace. In addition to the loss of data, the insurance providers that cover individuals below 65 are not the same as the providers that cover individuals who are above 65 years of age. Most people above 65 years of age are covered using Medicaid because, at this age, the citizens are not always a hook for the private insurers. However, in Canada, which implements Universal healthcare the insurance is single-handedly funded by the government. The government funding of health insurance in Canada makes it convenient and satisfactory to its population.

The private and public health insurance coverage implemented by the United States as opposed to the Universal Healthcare system implemented by the government of Canada is biased. The United States healthcare system is biased in that it tends to favor a particular group of people while leaving the other group socially disadvantaged while the universal healthcare system implemented by Canada is based on the principles of social justice enabling it to reach the whole population of Canada without discrimination in terms of race, gender, or ethnicity (Krau 16; Chao, Maria and Shelley 102). On the contrary, Marchildon (2018), is not in agreement with social discrimination (834). The author alludes that these healthcare systems are the same.

In his article "Myths, Misperceptions, and Policy Learning: Comparing Healthcare in the United States and Canada" the Marchildon (2018), highlight the existing myths and misconceptions that surround the two healthcare systems. The author explains the ways in which the healthcare system of the United States is beneficial to the citizens of the United States as well as the ways in which the healthcare system implemented by the government of Canada is beneficial to the citizens of Canada. However, the arguments of Marchildon and countered by those of the Business Radio (2018), in their article "Could Universal Health Care Work in the U.S.?" where they discuss the Bernie Sanders' "Medicare for all" bill introduced in 2017. From the Business Radio article, it logical to infer that the two healthcare systems, that for the United States and that of Canada, are not similar. In the event that the two healthcare systems were similar, the Medicare for all bill by Bernie Sanders would not have been tabled in the august house.

The bill by Bernie Sanders outlines some key features of the existing healthcare system implemented by the United States such as the co-pays and extra costs associated with medical coverage that need to be eliminated to ensure the system is universal for every American citizen. For this reason, the bill advocates for Medicare for all which will ensure social protection for health for all classes of citizens. As it stands, the lower-class citizens are disadvantaged in terms of healthcare access. However, being the citizens of the United States, they have a right to good health. In order to ensure these citizens, enjoy this right, Robinson (2016) opines that it is time for the United States to embrace the Universal Healthcare. Embracing the Universal Healthcare by the United States will be advantageous to its population as it will increase the quality of services to all regardless of their ability to pay.

As of 2017, the country had about 18% of its GDP going to health expenditures proving its ability to fund Universal Healthcare. As it stands, the only Universal Healthcare related health systems implemented by the United States are Medicaid and Medicare which supports individuals above 65 years of age (Abiiro, Gilbert and Manuela 17). The basis of the implementation of Medicaid and Medicare is not favorable to the general population especially those below 65 years of age. The introduction of Obamacare which has some similarities to Universal Healthcare is also not a solution as it is inclusive of the individual mandate which requires every American citizen to pay for coverage and there is a penalty in cases of failure.

Works Cited

Abiiro, Gilbert Abotisem, and Manuela De Allegri. "Universal health coverage from multiple perspectives: a synthesis of conceptual literature and global debates." BMC international health and human rights 15.1 (2015): 17.

Business Radio. "Could Universal Health Care Work in the U.S.?" Knowledge@Wharton,

Chao, Maria T., and Shelley R. Adler. "Integrative Medicine and the Imperative for Health Justice." The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, vol. 24, no. 2, 2018, pp. 101-103., doi:10.1089/acm.2017.29042.mtc.

Krau, Stephen D. "Social Justice: A Basis for Health Care Delivery." Nursing Clinics of North America, vol. 50, no. 3, 2015, pp. xiii-xv., doi:10.1016/j.cnur.2015.07.002.

Marchildon, Gregory P., et al. "Myths, Misperceptions, and Policy Learning: Comparing Healthcare in the United States and Canada." The Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics, vol. 46, no. 4, 2018, pp. 833-837., doi:10.1177/1073110518821975.

Robinson, Michael D. "Universal Healthcare Coverage Around the Globe: Time to Bring It to The United States?" Journal of Health Care Finance 43.3 (2016).

Santiago, Andrea Clement. "Why Does the U.S. Need Healthcare Reform?" Verywell Health, Verywell Health, 27 Sept. 2019,

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