Is Canadian Healthcare a Model for the U.S.?

            Recently, I attended Gerard Boychuk’s presentation on Is Canadian Healthcare a Model for the U.S.? at the Hudson Institute in Washington DC.  Dr. Boychuk is Director of Global Governance at the Basillie School of International Affairs at the University of  Waterloo, Ontario.  The presentation was based on his new book, National Health Insurance in the United States and Canada: Race, Territory and the Roots of Difference (Georgetown University Press 2008). 

            He noted that in the debate about U.S. health care, Canada’s single-payer health care system is often viewed as a model.  Canada provides universal availability of public-administered health insurance for access to all medically necessary hospital and physician services.  He discussed whether Canada’s system is actually a good model and the lessons that might apply for U.S. healthcare reform.  The Canadian system has no mandate that individuals carry public insurance and individuals are allowed to opt out of public coverage (in various provinces). 

            Further information about the presentation and book can be found at

— Jules Lichtenstein, economist