Getting back to the three main reasons that people in the U.S. are resistant to public health insurance one must also consider the idea that quality and technological advance might be damaged by prioritization of care. The Canadian system does not seem to mirror this concern, as though some complain about prioritization of services provided by the public plan as many as 65% of the Canadian public carries supplemental insurance that covers procedures and services that are not paid for by public insurance. In truth this would likely be the case here to and if people opted to receive the most advanced medical care available then they could do so, at their own expense, much in the same way they do now, only basic care would be covered so more people would be able to choose to have private supplemental insurance. ("Health Care System in Canada" 2007, NP) it must also be noted that on a comparative basis the U.S. And Canada do not vary that much in cost of health care and the expansion of services to meet the current Canadian model by the U.S. would be substantial but clearly doable for the nation.
Although health care in Canada is expensive, the country's expenditures on health care resemble those in other industrialized countries and are considerably less than in the United States. In 2005 Canada spent a little more than C$130 billion, or about C$4,000 per person, on health care, representing 9.1% of Canada's gross domestic product (GDP). In contrast, health-care expenditures in the United States in the same year totaled 13.5% of the U.S. GDP, representing approximately C$5,700 per person. In Canada, about 69% of total health expenditures are publicly funded, whereas in the United States 45% of health expenditures are funded by the government. ("Health Care System in Canada" 2007, NP)
It is true that there would likely be a reduction in services if someone opted out of private health care coverage and limited ones self to the basic government coverage model, but this would not be necessary for most if the system was set up the way that the Canadian model is. The health offering would not go down, and overlap of coverage would not be seen as the Canadian system does not allow private insurers to compete for care that it covers but only to cover that which the system does not. In addition there is an out of pocket expense to Canadians for health care, in the form of co pays or as a result of the fact that services may cost more than is paid by the provincial health coverage. The patient is then required to pay the difference, and this varies by province as it likely would by state here with the exception that these match payments are supplemented for the elderly and those with low incomes, again much like they are in the U.S.
Lastly, this work must discuss the tax burden that a public health system would create. If the system utilized a model like Canada's to provide health care in the manner it does with those who can paying for the difference and the provision of care being provided by mostly private institutions and/or individuals the tax burden would be limited to what it would cost to initially set up the program, i.e. issuance of health cards, administration and overhead of public information centers and application processing. The U.S. And Canada are actually similar in the manner in which they provide care to populations required to be cared for by the federal government (like the VA system) and therefore the development of this sort of system would not require, huge expenditures for the building of public clinics, especially because in most places they already exist and they would be compensated in the same manner as private facilities in a Canadian-like system, but still funded otherwise in the manner they are now.
The reality is that we as a nation profess to prioritize health care and yet do not provide it to all citizens, in any but a nominal way. Most people have been in hospital or health care waiting rooms and read signs that say that no one can be turned away as a result of their inability to pay, and yet right next to that sign is a disclaimer that states that all services must be paid for at the time they are delivered. An anecdote that I will utilize to close this work is the retelling of a recent event that happened to a friend of mine. Very recently a friend of mine went to the Emergency Room to get sutures for a cut he received on his hand when he was working on his house. The cut was rather deep, it was the weekend and he doesn't have health insurance, so like many he sought care at the emergency room. Upon checking in, he was told that it could be up to a four hour wait, (wait times are constantly complained about in Canada too...) because there had recently been four major traumas admitted to the ER. So, he signed in and waited until he was in to much pain to wait any longer. He checked himself out, went to the drug store, purchased a box of butterfly bandages for 1.97, went home cleaned his wound and butterflied it together and took two Tylenol. Two days later he received, in the mail a bill for $80 from the hospital, apparently for sucking up air in the ER waiting room for two hours. Though this may seem preposterous, it was true the billing office had made no mistake, he owed the hospital $80 for checking in to wait in the ER waiting room. If the U.S. would choose the right and develop a health care system that was more like that of Canada, the need by hospitals to charge people just for attempting to seek care in an ER might disappear because these same people might be able to receive reasonable services elsewhere. "The quickest, easiest and cheapest way of developing universal health insurance would be adoption, with modifications, of Canada's health-care system, which boasts a quality of care equal to ours at far lower cost." ("Simple Health Care Remedy," 2007, p. B03)
Canadian Institute for Health Information, (2005) "Explaining the 70/30 Split: How Canada's Health Care System is Financed." Retrieved January 20, 2008 at http://secure.cihi.ca/cihiweb/products/FundRep_EN.pdf
Cutler, D.M. (2004). Your Money or Your Life: Strong Medicine for America's Health Care System / . New York: Oxford University Press.
Health-Care Reform: Be Patient." (2006, March 26). The Washington Times, p. B04.
Health Care System in Canada," Microsoft® Encarta® Online Encyclopedia 2007
http://encarta.msn.comRetrieved January 21, 2008 at http://encarta.msn.com/encyclopedia_461511146/health_care_system_in_canada.html
Simple Health Care Remedy." (2007, October 28). The Washington Times,…