EVALUATING NORTH AMERICAN HEALTH SYSTEMS Essay

EVALUATING NORTH AMERICAN HEALTH SYSTEMS Essay

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INTRODUCTION
     Compensating the affairs of economic efficiency with the demands of sociopolitical rights is a constant source of tension in Canada and the United States alike. In no other element is this tension more apparent than in the group of complex markets we call the health care system.
     Canadians have been fortunate enough to receive a universal health care system for nearly forty years. This is a single-payer system funded by the governments, both provincial and federal, but at what costs? Is health care not unlike any other commodity, or is it the privilege of every citizen? Health care has elements of common economic behavior, however, there are also certain social values associated with it. It is this struggle of defining what health care is that causes such anxiety among economists. The Canadian health care system is slowly crippling the economy, and reforms must be devised to preserve the pride of Canada; our health care system itself.
     The pluralistic health care scheme of the United States, as well, has serious socioeconomic implications, and American policy makers are looking toward the model of the Canadian system for answers. Both the United States and Canada must reform health care policy, but to what extent? Obviously these questions cannot necessarily yield clear, concise answers, however they will provide insight into analyzing the current and proposed systems of health care.
     Certainly if Canada is to maintain a high standard of care it must adopt an economically efficient, revenue generating system. Moreover the United States must adopt the single-payer system of Canada while still retaining a strong revenue base. This paper will discuss the strengths and shortcomings of the Canadian health care system, and how health care is a sociopolitical enigma. Furthermore, how the single-payer system is the only realistic response to the growing inadequacies within the American socioeconomic status.

CANADIAN HEALTH CARE STRUCTURE
     Serving as a general background in its appraisal, it is necessary to outline the history and the ambient factors of the Canada health care that is so sought after by the United States. The Canadian health-insurance program, called Medicare, is administered by provincial ...


... middle of paper ...


... and this tension is prevalent in the health care system. A basic economic concern is whether health care is like any other commodity. The health care industry can be analyzed with economic frames of reference: wealth, risk aversion, efficient transfers, and utility. However, there are certain symbolic elements of health care that cannot be easily measured. Cultures have fundamental beliefs that encompass the valuation of life and health. Bearing this in mind, it would only seem realistic that there is some sort of right to health care.      Nowhere in the American Constitution is it stated that an individual has the right to some basic set of health care services, however, there are certain undefined responsibilities the government has. It can be argued that the Declaration of Independence supports the right for each and every citizen to have the basic care needed to sustain life so as to exercise one’s liberty and to allow the pursuit of happiness. It has been argued that there is a common-law right to equal services, a right of equal access to basic services: such as drinking water. Furthermore this right extends to all citizens and is beyond the reac


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