What I observed as a Canadian researching on healthcare in America — and what Americans can acquire from Canada

What I observed as a Canadian researching on healthcare in America — and what Americans can acquire from Canada

I never thought a lot about the health system when I was growing up in Canada. I knew it was odd, when I went to the USA and went to graduate school, I felt weird to not to have universal health, but I had an extensive school health insurance plan so I did not think of healthcare.

Six months ago, when I started writing about healthcare as a Business Insider fellow, I had to make a choice for an insurance plan for the first time.

I have gained insight into the often complicated debate over one-payer healthcare in the US as a Canadian report on US healthcare and believe I have some of my own insights to offer.

It is true that every adult in Canada is protected by medical care. But not all expenses – medical or employer-based coverage pays for dental visits, eye care, and prescription drugs – have to be covered by the government.

Yes, private insurance is available in Canada.

As the subject of the 2020 Democratic Presidential debates is on Medicare for All, Canada also serves as an example of how the US might have a single-payer system. Prescription drugs at a price fraction. No surprise billings.

But even the health system in Canada is not as socialized as any other country. The government finances healthcare in the United Kingdom and provides health facilities that are basically free for people by the National Health Service.

I have come across certain misunderstandings about the Canadian health care system since my arrival in the USA which I would like to dissipate. Canadian healthcare isn’t free of cost.

Typically, the taxes on the federal social security net, including health care, are higher for Canadians.

But mostly Canadian tax dollars are paying for it. Although there is no “health tax,” in 2017, the latest figures from the Canadian health information institute (CIHI) found that a Canadian spends on average $6,604 on health coverage taxes.

But mostly Canadian tax dollars are paying for it. Although there is no “health tax,” in 2017, the latest figures from the Canadian health information institute (CIHI) found that a Canadian spends on average $6,604 on health coverage taxes.

Although Canadians are paying higher taxes, the bulk of health services are covered.

There are also no bills attached to seeing a physician or healthcare provider for primary care or clinic visits. And because health insurance is public, there are also no deductibles — the amount a person pays before insurance kicks in.

Many medical expenses, such as dental care, eye care, prescription medicines, podiatry, and chiropractics, are not provided in Canada.

Prescription drug costs are an area of debate in Canadian health care — surprising given the constant coverage in the United States, which often contrasts Canadian drug costs favorably to those in the United States.

Earlier this year, Democrat presidential candidate Bernie Sanders went to Canada to show diabetes patients that could be charged up to $300 in insulin cans in the United States as opposed to $30 in Canada.

Canada’s biggest healthcare debate: pharmacare

In Canada, prescription medicines are less expensive because the government has an important role to play in setting prices.

But there is a similar fight in Canada over drug costs. Pharmacare, a system allowing the government to help pay for the prescription drugs of Canadians, was a major concern in the 2019 Canadian federal election.