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Healthcare In The Us Essay

1610 words - 7 pages

Canada and the United States of America (US) have two completely different healthcare systems. In the US, healthcare access is limited to those who carry insurance. Healthcare in the US is not centralized, does not offered universal access, and have multiple providers and payers. Canada has a national program for publicly funded healthcare insurance implemented in 1966 under The Canada Health Act (the Act) in all provinces and territories (Shi & Singh, 2001). The goal of this policy was established as "to protect, promote and restore the physical and mental well-being of residents of Canada and to facilitate reasonable access to health services without financial or other barriers" (Health Canada, 2013, para. 2). The Act is not in itself a national health plan but rather establishes the criteria related to which insured health services and extended healthcare to ensure that "all eligible residents of Canada have reasonable access to insured health services on a prepaid basis, without direct charges at the point of service for such services" (Health Canada, 2013, para. 4) and is always evolving according to the Canadian's needs. This health insurance plan is commonly referred as Medicare and covers medically necessary hospital and physician services, on a prepaid basis.
In the US, Medicare refers to a government health program offered to the people age 65 or older, people under age 65 with certain disabilities, and people of all ages with end-stage renal disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a kidney transplant). This program is not totally free as premiums and co-pays may apply to the different type of coverage (US Department of Health and Human Services, Center for Medicare and Medicaid, 2013).
The bulk of the finance for the Canadian health program is the responsibility of each province/territory and comes from general taxes (Shi & Singh, 2001). The government contributes with a fixed amount to each province or territory regardless of the amount spent by each one after satisfying the criteria and conditions established by the Act (Shi & Singh, 2001). Provincial and territorial governments are responsible for the management, organization and delivery of health services for their residents (Health Canada, 2009b; Shi & Singh, 2001). Under the national plan, Canadian residents contribute with a negligible amount if any. In the United States, people that access healthcare through employers or individuals are responsible for part if not all of the premiums along with co-pays or coinsurances. The closest to the Canadian healthcare system that exist in the US is a healthcare program called Medicaid created for low income US residents by federal statue. This program is run by each state, and each state is responsible for establishing criteria to access the program and program coverage (CMS, 2005b). The US Federal Government contributes with a fix amount to each state but the bulk of the finance is the state's responsibility (CMS,...

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