Out of the 33 developed nation, 32 have free medical care, except the United States.It means that an American person’s illnesses can lead him to bankruptcy (Sterret, Bender, & Palmer, 2014). It is true, the USA is only developed country lacking health rights. Most of the time, the USA is compared with its neighbor that is Canada which has a single payment system mostly financed by public funds, whereas the USA has multiple payment systems. Some people thought that the USA health system should be revamped like Canada, although others trust that the existing system is sufficiently good and that no change is required (Pylypchuk & Sarpong, 2013). It is advisable that universal system of health care, like in Canada, should be implemented in the USA because it would reduce health care cost and boost the country’s GDP, it would help small businesses to flourish, and it would force hospitals to provide the same standard of service to all people, making it fairer and less discriminatory.
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In 1993, President Clinton proposed universal medical care on the way to control medical expenses and, insurance premiums (Camillo, 2016). Then in the 2008 Barack Obama then recommended universal health coverage named as the Obama’s health care. Everyone had to buy coverage from a public or private company in this plan. However, many people mistrusted the government’s intention as they are promoting socialized medicine (Ridic, G Gleason, & Ridic.O, 2012). Finally, in 2010, a new law was passed called Patient Protection and Accessible care, which called for compulsory health insurance. However, this health care system was costly and not accessible to everybody (Camillo, 2016).
The Canadian health care system, on the other hand, was first introduced in 1940 in Saskatchewan with the plan of the regional hospital system (Ridic, G Gleason, & Ridic.O, 2012). This system was so successful that all ten provinces started this system in 1961. Then in 1971, the universal health care system was introduced to cover both hospitalization and medical services (p. 112-120). Some amendments were made and Canada introduced a single payer system, which has fewer charges with unlimited practitioners’ availability funded by the government (p. 112-120).It has always been debatable whether the USA should adopt Canada’s health system or not?
If the universal health care system will be implemented in the USA, then it would reduce the health care cost not only for the government but also for the local people. The comparative studies by medical planning association, shows that significant saving could be achieved if the USA adopted the Canadian health care system (Weil, 2016).On the government side, it simplifies the claims of insurance coverage, and it reduces the administrative costs and reduces the medicine seller input cost. According to Woolhandler, Campbell, & Himmelstein (2003),the administrative cost of Canada is reduced to 107 per capita compared to the USA which is 324. per capita.On the people’s side, it will reduce hassles of claim, it will reduce drug prices and it will prevent them to buy costly policies. According to Woolhandler, Campbell, & Himmelstein (2003), “A system with multiple insurers is also intrinsically costlier than a single-payer system. For insurers it means multiple duplicative claims-processing facilities and smaller insured groups, both of which increase overhead”(page 6-8 para 3). So there would be an overall reduction in total costs, which would be a win-win situation for both sides
Furthermore, universal health care system would boost the economic growth and prosperity.Canada and the USA gives a major proportion of their GDP to medical care. According to WHO, Comparatively Canada spends much less of its GDP ie,10.4% on health care than the USA ie;17.8% (as cited in Woolhandler, Campbell, & Himmelstein, 2003). Therefore GDP is now a question of concern to the USA government because it has an adverse effect on the inflation rate and country’s overall growth. For this, the government could try to reduce its expenditures by reducing the eligibility window, which could increase the number of uninsured people. Also, the government could raise taxes on other goods or reduce investment. In addition the increased health care could reduce employment and investment interest. Therefore, it is right to say that higher health care cost could reduce economic growth and increase bankruptcy
In addition, the universal health care in the USA would also encourage entrepreneurship because then people would not have a fear of losing their health insurance, so they could pursue their dreams, which would increase self- employment. According to Sterret, Bender, & Palmer (2014), a comparative study done by the OECD(Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) shows that in the USA, people rely on employer insurance policies, which stick them to one job,confined their wisdom of business development and super shed their career decision. According to the evidence, a universal model would help small businesses flourish and serve as a win-win for both employer and employee. On the employee side, it would eliminate job fear and boost micro level businesses. On the employer side, they can divert their funds, and they could also reduce overall labor costs According to Sterret, Bender, & Palmer (2014), recent empirical assessments shows that natives of the USA does not believe on entrepreneurial economy. In the USA people are more focused on their job than their entrepreneurial skills which discourage small business.
Unlike in the USA, Canada’s universal health care policy forces hospitals to provide the same standard of services to everybody. According to Ridic, Gleason, & Ridic (2012), directly or indirectly all physicians are forced to see patients irrespective of their financial status. The government finance the budget for all hospitals and eliminate additional charges. In the USA because of the lack of health insurance, treatment of a person is subject to the family’s income affecting health access rights. Statistics show that regardless of expensive treatment everybody in Canada has accesses to medical facilities (Ridic, G Gleason, & Ridic.O, 2012). On the other hand in the USA only 84% of people have insurance (public or private) (page-115-120). Based on the above evidence there is no harm to say that universal health care in the USA would bring equality and health care rights to everyone. According to Sterret, Bender, & Palmer (2014), with the universal policy in Canada, hospitals and doctors are providing the same standard of service to everybody since funds to hospitals are given by the government, not by patients. While in the USA, health care providers focus on new technology, which is very expensive, and they pay more to doctors, which causes health care inequality.
Opponents of this idea believe that the current publicly funded healthcare system in Canada provides benefits that are minimal, outdated and costly. The major criticism is concerned with long wait times no matter if it is just a simple consultation or a major operation. Long waiting lists impose indirect costs causing anxiety and time wastage.According to Weil (2016), “[s]tudy reported that, 33% of the patients surveyed in 2010 experienced waits of 6 days or more to seek a physician or nurse when sick, 41% of those surveyed reported waiting 2 months or more before conferring with a specialist and 26% reported waiting 4 months or more before having elective surgery” (page -8 0f 22, para 2)
They have a right in thinking like that as Canada does have exceedingly high wait times. However, they provide health care rights to everybody. Canada, single payment system, allow all citizens to have medical access because of which no one is bankrupt and no one is losing homes etc, unlike in the two-tiered system. According to Himmelstein (As cited in Skinner, 2009), a study was done in the USA which showed that “[n]early two thirds of personal bankruptcies in the United States result from uninsured medical expenses or loss of income due to illness”(page 15 para 2). The economist claim that bankruptcy could be prevented by adopting government-funded health system as Canada. According to Weil (2016), the Canadian government is providing the fundamental right to everybody that is the right to health and right to equality. It is right to say that Canada’s health care accessibility and universal coverage allows greater enjoyment of health rights compared to the limited coverage offered by health care in the USA.
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Those who are against these ideas also say that Canada is spending relatively high on health care but fails in satisfaction of patients and taxpayer. Canadians pay a right amount of money for medical care through tax, but still, health care system is underperforming. This universal health care consumes significant portions of the government’s income, leaving citizens with more tax responsibilities and obligations. According to Deber (2003), Canada government now have to challenge deficit because of that, they hold the supply and cut the budget for hospitals. According to Sterret, Bender, & Palmer (2014), some conservative economists claim that a government-run program in Canada could reduce economic growth and could lead to a decline in health access.
However, despite all these obstacles, there are several reasons for optimism like Canadians spend less GDP for health compared to the USA and obtain much better results regarding life expectancy, infant mortality. The main reason why the USA is spending a higher percentage of GDP for health care is that of the use of expensive medical technology. According to Weil (2016), “[T]he USA has available per million persons at least four times the number of MRI machines than Canada, twice the number of CT scanners”(page-364 para 4). This high end technology only beneficial for rich people and investors who have lot of money but it is barely accessible for ordinary people. To make the USA health care system more approachable and less costly, some serious steps are required to be taken by the government .Otherwise, the USA GDP will continue to share a higher percentage of health care impacting directly or indirectly the general public.
Indeed, the USA should adopt a single-payer system because it would reduce the overall cost of health care, it would motivate enterprise skills, and it would avoid discrimination in health care access. In almost all developed countries, the health care system is run by the government. Although most health care systems differ but share common objectives. Regular access to health care will avoid communicable diseases, people with good health care will live healthier, which will increase life expectancy and infant mortality. People with good health will less miss their work, which will lead to overall economic growth.
Subsequently, the USA should focus on providing awareness of preventive care to the people because it will decrease spending of communicable disease, it will prevent long queues in hospitals, and it will help in diagnosing the chronical disease at the initial stage. The government has to decide what costs will remain the responsibility of the people and government. Moreover, the government should negotiate with vendors for drugs price and go for bulk purchasing and try to purchase durable equipment for lowering the cost.
In the end, despite Canadians are facing challenges with their health care system still they are sure for their treatment without payment worries. To conclude, the Canadian health care system undoubtedly is a better model for the USA concerning cost-effectiveness, health care rights, and economic growth.
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