Friday, July 24, 2009

Canada Versus U.S. Health Care

No one pays more for health care than we do here in the U.S., but we are told that if we embrace a public option health care plan (yes, you can still keep the insurance you have now if you are happy with that insurance), then we will be sliding down a "slippery slope" to a Canadian-style health care system.


Canada has always seemed like a pretty civilized country to me. They certainly live longer, on average, than the average American.

Let's look at some other numbers:

What else?

  • The U.S. spends more on health care than Canada, both on a per-capita basis and as a percentage of GDP. In 2006, per-capita spending for health care in the U.S. was US $6,714; in Canada, US $3,678. The U.S. spent 15.3% of GDP on health care in that year; Canada spent 10.0%.

  • In 2006, 70% of health care spending in Canada was financed by government, versus 46% in the United States. Total government spending per-capita in the U.S. on health care was 23% higher than Canadian government spending, and U.S. government expenditure on health care was just under 83% of total Canadian spending (public and private).


Kim said...

And yet I have fellow Canadians bemoaning the system all the time. While our system could surely stand some improvement (what system couldn't??) my GUARANTEED ability to receive medical treatment is priceless.

Interesting too how it always seems to be the Haves, rather than the Have Nots, who bitch the loudest...

retrieverman said...

But the Republicans want us all to believe that Canada is a Stalinist hell-hole, and that some commissar will be dictating what health care you receive.

The best fiction writers work for that party. I wish they would write a few novels. Because it takes real literary flair to come up with these story lines.

It takes a real novelist to come up with the "Obama isn't a US citizen" conspiracy theory. I'm impressed.

My professional background is in political campaigning, and I'm impressed.

But as a citizen, I'm more than a little horrified.

K said...

Great post!

One thing I have never seen discussed when Americans are criticizing our health care system - the fact that we have a vastly different population density. In my mind, there are large areas of Canada where for-profit health care simply would not be viable; those same areas are important to Canada's sovereignty over her Arctic waters (which is a whole other debate), and as such, we want people to live there.

I had one American tell me that for-profit heath care would work there, as a business would simply balance the "not making as much money" areas into the "making money" areas, and still come out okay. I could not convince her it wasn't a matter of "not making as much money" as "losing scads of money with no hope of ever seeing a profit", and that no business would willingly put up with that, nor should they. All you have to do is look at air fares, grocery prices, etc. in those area to see how well businesses use other areas to mitigate those prices (i.e. they don't - they charge all the traffic will bear).

Great blog as well. I don't always agree with you, but I always learn something!