– In Canada: Every citizen is eligible for “free and universal access to publicly insured health care.”
– In U.S.: 95 per cent of the country’s 307 million people will have access to health insurance under the new legislation.
– In Canada: Single-payer system that is government-funded.
– In U.S.: Medicaid and Medicare are publicly funded; they complement a private insurance system that is paid for individually.
Under the new legislation, government would offer subsidies and tax breaks to individuals to allow them to buy insurance.
– In Canada: Health care coverage varies from province to province, with some services costing extra if not covered by private insurance.
– In U.S.: Coverage would vary based on specifics set out by individual insurance plan. The “individual mandate” under the new legislation requires Americans to buy health insurance or risk being fined.
– In Canada: For publicly insured health care services, residents do not pay.
– In U.S.: Residents pay up front and are reimbursed based on insurance plan.
5. Common criticisms:
– In Canada: Can’t get treatment fast enough, some services not covered.
– In U.S.: Too expensive, doesn’t cover everyone, and the nearly-universal plan promised by the legislation may be reversed by next administration ‘ if ‘ Obama loses 2014 election.