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The U. S. Healthcare System, Research Paper Example

Pages: 1

Words: 433

Research Paper

The healthcare system in the United States has been a focal point among legislators and the president for the past several years. Specifically, how to lower healthcare costs while maintaining quality of care is the challenge that confronts policymakers. The Canadian system is frequently held up as a model for healthcare delivery that many citizens in the United States believe is ideal.This paper will discuss several aspects of the healthcare delivery system.

The healthcare system in the United States, is frequently compared to that of Canada because of the proximity of that country, as well as the number of Canadians living in the United States, including many prominent Americans. The system in the United States is a multi-payer system as compared to Canada’s healthcare delivery system which is a single-payer system (Comparing the US and Canadian Healthcare Systems, 2012.) One of the reasons that the Canadian system is so appealing is that it appears to provide more for less money: Canada provides universal healthcare for all of its citizens as compared with one in five nonelderly Americans who are uninsured. In addition, Canada spends a smaller percentage of its GDP on healthcare than the United States, but has better results regarding the infant mortality rate and life expectancy.

The government of any country can have a tremendous impact on the health care system because it can determine whether or not such a system will be provided publicly or privately; in the United States, the recently passed Affordable Care Act puts government squarely in the middle of the healthcare issue by offering insurance to those previously uninsured, covering pre-existing conditions, and changing the regulations regarding preventive care and other major issues. In addition, the government can provide analysis of inefficiencies and market failures in the current health care system (The Economic Case for Healthcare Reform, 2012.)

Access to healthcare is measured by the ease and timeliness with which people obtain medical services and is a key indicator of quality of care (Meisel, 2012.) That is different from the cost of healthcare, which is the amount paid for healthcare services. People use those terms interchangeably because they believe that access to healthcare depends on whether or not a person can afford to pay for those services.

References:

Comparing the US and Canadian Healthcare Systems. (2012, November 27). Retrieved November 27, 2012, from The National Bureau of Economic Research: http://www.nber.org/bah/fall07/w13429.html

Meisel, Z. and Pines, J. (2012, January 23). Can Better Access to Healthcare Really Help Lower Costs? Retrieved November 27, 2012, from Time Health and Family: http://healthland.time.com/2012/01/23/does-better-access-to-health-care-really-help-lower-costs/

The Economic Case for Healthcare Reform. (n.d.). Retrieved November 27, 2012, from The White House: http://www.whitehouse.gov/administration/eop/cea/TheEconomicCaseforHealthCareReform

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