Comparing the U.S. and Canadian Healthcare Systems

Comparing the U.S. and Canadian Healthcare Systems under Current Public Policy Reform
SECTION A (2 pages minimum)
Comparing Health Systems under Current Public Policy Reform
Take note that each section for this assignment must have its own reference list at the end of that
section. And each section must have at least 4 references. The entire paper must be in
SECTION B (2 pages minimum)
Comparing the History of Health Systems and Health Reform
This section must have its own reference list at the end of this section all in APA format, and
must be at least 4 references minimum.
Compare the history of U.S. health, financial, and system reform from President Roosevelt
through the current U.S. President�s administration to the history of health reform in
another country.

Comparing the U.S. and Canadian Healthcare Systems under Current Public Policy


Whenever there are arguments about health care reform, the Canadian system is
frequently chosen as the possible model for the United States. This is because the health care

system of the United States is completely different from the Canadian System. Canada features a
single-payer, which is mostly the publicly funded system, while the United States features a
multi-payer, a greater percentage of which is a private system. Despite these differences, the two
countries have been noted to be culturally similar, thus one may adopt the system of the other.
Since the United States is not performing as expected, chances are high that it may benefit from
the Canadian system. Thus, this section champions the thesis that the Canadian Health System is
better than that of the United States.
While comparing the health systems from these two countries, it is clear that the United
States has better operations than Canada, a factor that may be attributed to the presence of
enough equipment needed for health care. The United States has a better availability to
healthcare resources such as those required for cancer screenings (Kuan-Chou & Keh-Wen
“Carin”, 2013). This availability ensures that health care operations are not interrupted or stopped
due to their absence. Thus, the United States is constantly presenting patients with the health care
they need since their operations are always running. This is one reason why cancer screenings
have been noted to be much higher for the U. S than in Canada. For instance, 86% of U.S women
aged 40 to 69 have already had a mammogram, as compared to a lower value of 73% of
Canadian women (Kuan-Chou & Keh-Wen “Carin”, 2013).
When it comes to health care financing, the Canadian system is way better than that of
the United States. This is because it provides more care to patients for less. A provision of
universal access to health care for all citizens is the case in Canada (Zinszer et al., 2013). The
United States, on the other hand, fails to do so as one in every five elderly individuals is left
uninsured (Kuan-Chou & Keh-Wen “Carin”, 2013). The U.S is, however, trying to deal with this
issue by encouraging insurers to offer funding even to the new institutions bound to open under

the Obamacare (Wieczner, 2014). This would better the chances of individuals getting affordable
care online, without worrying about not being insured. Canada is better than the U.S when it
comes to funding, also because it spends less of its GDP on healthcare compared to the U.S, and
it still manages to show better performance as noted when analyzing health outcomes such as
infant mortality rate and life expectancy (Zinszer et al., 2013). Canada allocates 10.4 %, while
the U.S allocates 16% to health care (Zinszer et al., 2013).
Health care operations in Canada have been noted to be poor, owing to the fact that they
do not have access to sufficient health care resources, as well as enough hospitals for all patients.
This is because the country is only dependent on public hospitals as private health care facilities
were banned from operating (Zinszer et al., 2013). Thus, when patients go to a hospital to seek
treatment for minor medical situations, they are often kept waiting for hours on end. Hence,
because of relying solely on public hospitals, most patients feel like their needs are not met since
there is a shortage of facilities, and patients are many. Therefore, Canadian operations are poor
compared to that of the United States.
Although health outcomes are affected by other factors aside from the health care system,
such as substance abuse, it is also possible for the systems to regulate these outcomes. In the
U.S., most individuals are suffering from various diseases, which could be avoided in the first
place. For example, 33% of U.S. women have Obesity, compared to 19% of them in Canada
(Kuan-Chou & Keh-Wen “Carin”, 2013; Mason, Leavitt & Chaffee, 2012). This poor outcome
from the U.S health system proves that the country is not doing well to try and control these
diseases. This may be attributed to the fact that the system is not considering the community in
forming policies affecting their health (Toobin, 2014). It is important to understand and consider

the different forms of cultures so as to result with a health public policy that will ensure everyone
receives treatment without affecting their cultural beliefs.


Kuan-Chou, C., & Keh-Wen “Carin”, C. (2013). Using Systems Thinking To Analyze Health
Care In The United States: Should We Move To A Government Sponsored Health Care
System?. Academy Of Health Care Management Journal, 9(1/2), 3-12.

Policy and Politics in the Community (2012). In D. Mason, J. Leavitt, & M. Chaffee. Policy &
Politics in Nursing and Health Care, 6th Edition. Elsevier Saunders.
Toobin, J. (2014, September 30). On Hobby Lobby, Ginsburg Was Right. Retrieved October 2,
2014, from The New Yorker:
Wieczner, J. (2014, September 24). Thanks to Obamacare, virtual-reality doctors are booming.
Retrieved October 2, 2014, from Fortune:
Zinszer, K., Tamblyn, R., Bates, D. W., & Buckeridge, D. L. (2013). A qualitative study of
health information technology in the Canadian public health system. BMC Public Health,
13(1), 1-7. doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-509.

Comparing the History of Health Systems and Health Reform

Canada is similar to the United States as they both have a national health insurance
program. This is basically an insurance program run by the government, and it covers the whole
population. The Predecessor of President Truman, Franklin D. Roosevelt, never took any
initiative to improve the healthcare system of the United States. In the New Deal programs,
healthcare accessibility was one of the few issues, which were left out. In a proposal
recommended to Congress, Truman was suggesting the implementation of a universal health
insurance coverage, which would be administered and funded by the National Health Insurance
Board (Carpenter, 2009).
This administration only supported a few health care reform proposals as most of its
focus was on the Cold War. The Military Medicare, intended for the provision of military
dependents with healthcare services payments, was enacted in 1956. Ever since this time, the
Military Medicare program has been reformed by most of the presidents, such that currently it
supports the elderly and not only the military personnel (Compilation Of Patient Protection and
Affordable care Act., 2010). A bill that died was the Forand bill that was supposed to provide
health insurance for the beneficiaries of the Social Security. In Canada, only a few programs
were being declined, contrary to the case in the United States.
The Johnson administration managed to pass the legislation that would establish
Medicare and Medicaid programs in 1965. As it was previously enacted, the Social security
Amendments during this year ensured health coverage to individuals 65 years and older, as well
as to the poor, blind and disabled. The healthcare services covered included hospitals, nursing
facilities, physicians, and also the home care providers. This is yet another similarity between the
two countries, as they both managed to support health reforms that would eventually lead to the
establishment of a program known as Medicare. This, however, is just a name for the program;

the difference is that the United States program supports the elderly aged 65 and older. While the
other supports the whole population of Canada.
Canada’s health system reform happened during the 1960s and 1970s, but before this
time, it featured a similar system to that of the United States. When considering the per capita
basis and GDP percentage, it is clear that the United States spends so much more on its health
care system than that of Canada. In 2006, per capita expenditures on health care in Canada was
recorded at $ 3678, while the U.S used $ 6714 (Duffin, 2011). This difference, however, may be
attributed to the fact that Canada has been experiencing financial issues, while the U.S is more
stable. Contrary to the situation in the U.S., where healthcare funding was excessive to the point
that it as being contested, Canada was facing issues trying to receive enough funds to facilitate
the reform of its system. As a result of this, most of the healthcare reforms were focused on
improving the financing of the health system of Canada, unlike in the U.S where these reforms
were supposed to better the provision of care. For example, the Hospital Insurance and
Diagnostic Services Act of 1957, and The 1966 Medical Care Act (Duffin, 2011). Most of these
proposals were enacted with the approval of all parties, unlike the case in the U.S whereby most
proposals were contested.


Carpenter, C. E. (2009). We’ve Been Down This Road Before– Health Reform in the United
States. Journal Of Financial Service Professionals, 63(4), 23-26.
Compilation Of Patient Protection and Affordable care Act. (2010). Office of the Legislative
Duffin, J. (2011). The Impact of Single-Payer Health Care on Physician Income in Canada,
1850-2005. American Journal Of Public Health, 101(7), 1198-1208.
Jost, T. (2012). Eight Decades of Discouragement: The History of Health Care Cost Containment
in the USA. Forum For Health Economics & Policy, 15(3), 53-82. doi:10.1515/fhep-