Friday, May 15, 2009

A comparison of single-payer and multi-payer systems

The United States uses a multi-payer, for-profit health care system, with some elements that are not for profit, such as Medicare. Our system is administered privately, and operates from a market-based view, i.e., that health care is a commodity. Canada, on the other hand, uses a single-payer system that, while still for-profit, is administered publicly, and operates from the assumption that health care is a right. Our system is financially out of control, and incredibly wasteful and complex. Canada's is fairly simple, and far less expensive. Not only that, Canada's system is rated as better by the World Health Organization than is ours.

The recent hearings in Congress on possible reform measures, headed by Senator Max Baucus, have one striking feature: proponents of instituting a single-payer system in the US have not been invited to participate. Thus, protestors, representing organizations such as the California Nurses Association and Physicians for a National Health Care Program, have taken to interrupting the proceedings to make their point.

Below are two graphic representations of just why our system is so expensive and Canada's is so much cheaper, and yet still outperforms ours. These are taken from Neil Davis' book.

1 comment:

Beyond The Political Spectrum said...

I love the diagram of how convoluted the current system of health care adminstration is in America.