Category: Health

Summary

There is a significant difference between America’s health-care systems and that of Canada. Although many would argue that the health-care systems of the united states is much better than that of Canada, it is observed not all Americans are able to afford the cost of health. Moreover, approximately forty million Americans have not access to medical-care. This is the same condition in Canada where the cost of providing health-care is relatively expense to the lower-income earners, thus limit their access to this basic commodity, basic health-care. Given the increasing cost of providing basic health-care, both Canada and United States have advanced payment methods such as health insurance and comprehensive medical cover to help subsidize on the cost of providing this basic need (Robert, 1993). 

Unlike the United States where out-of-pocket health payment is common, Canada keeps a single-payer medical and health-care system where the government serves as the insurer of healthcare premium. The single pool-health premium policy (practiced by Canada) ensures equal access to healthcare to all the citizens independent of their economic background. However, which the healthcare system chosen, there must be a trade-off which is explained by the merits and demerits of each healthcare financing policy. For instance the specialized healthcare for all and advanced technology (although relatively affordable) has limited level of financing. On the other hand, private healthcare insurance has the advantage of unration access to healthcare treatment but also expensive to the low income groups. When compared, single-payer system is superior to private-funded health insurance policy practiced in the U.S (Hsiao, 1992).

Canada’s Single Payer System

Single payer system practiced by the government of Canada is founded on equality and universal access of healthcare by all citizens irrespective of their socio-economic status (Robert, 1993). Under this system, the government (through the provincial administration) funds the medical cover through taxes with all the health facilities being non-profitable. The success of this system is founded on its merits which includes; simplicity and ease of application, portability, equity and equality, and affordability through reduced administration costs. Under this method, the health budgetary allocations are done by the provincial administration, thus leading to standardized cost as the private health practice is outlawed (Robert, 1993).

On the other hand, single-payer health financing system has its own drawbacks. The major limitation of single-payer systems is the fact the financing depends on the economic conditions of the states. For instance, health payments are mostly frozen during hard economic recessions. High-tech health complication cannot be accessed following the shortage of these modern high-tech treatment facilities (Hsiao, 1992). Besides, single-payer systems only covers for ‘medically necessary’ treatments, hence complex healthcare conditions are not funded. With the instruction of ‘cost over-runs’ and controls, health providers are forced to practiced ‘healthcare rationing’ which endanger the lives of the common citizens.

The Health Care System of the U.S

The U.S lacks a purposeful healthcare system because of the historical private financial arrangement referred to as employer-purchased insurance scheme. This health financing policy (private health insurance) gives the patients the much needed freedom to choose their health providers and physicians (Hsiao, 1992). However, the government meets the basic medical cost for the uninsured patients through Medicare, Medicaid, and other recommended programs. This program is very complex as these different financing policies follow different underwriting, benefits, eligibility, and reimbursement principles. These makes healthcare very expensive as higher administrative cost pushed the cost of providing healthcare costly. Therefore, the low-income groups are denied access to health insurance by the pre-conditions set by the private insurers. However, private-health insurance financing policy gives wealthy patients highly quality health services and encourages technological and clinical research which treatment of high-tech medical complications (Hsiao, 1992).

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