This chapter discusses the political and economic aspects that have taken both Canada and the US in different paths which is ultimately shaped by the organization and delivery of care with its recent restructuring efforts. The US health care system is a system of private health insurance where most of the population gets benefits through employment or other benefit plans such as those for veterans. There is public health insurance for those on social security called Medicare and those that require social assistance called Medicaid. But, 45 million people are still uninsured and millions are underinsured.
Unlike the US, Canada has a universal system of public health insurance where contracts with private non-profit health care institutions such as hospitals and health practitioners deliver care. The national health insurance represents a sense of clarity between “free market” liberalism and the “planned economy” socialism. Public financing is considered the optimal form of health care financing due to the fact that insurance is affordable to all citizens no matter how ill, effective cost control over health care services, and there’s universal coverage.
With such a system, those that are healthy that do not need many treatments support those that require health care service which ultimately offer good cost control and good equity. Canada and the US have different perspectives in access to their pharmaceuticals. Canada has a public health insurance where people over the age of 65 and those on social assistance are covered. Unlike Quebec that has a drug benefit program for everyone, Ontario has created programs to those that have a large amount of drug costs and the rest of the population has access through private insurance through employment.
This causes issues with those that are in low paying or have part-time jobs. Pharmaceuticals here in Canada are regulated by the Patented Medicines Prices Review Board unlike in the US. However, access to medicines for the treatment of cancer is getting more and more expensive and only few that are covered. This material is consistent with what I believed prior to this course with some new knowledge attained. It’s great to look at our health care in depth.
As of right now since I just started back at York University this summer, I did not have any health benefits for quite some times so I avoid going to the doctor’s and getting medication because as a student I cannot afford it. If people like myself have better access to coverage, a number of health issues could be avoided. I appreciate what Obama administration is implementing so that the uninsured have access to health care as well.