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Why Healthcare Costs Trillions Less in Canada

Cheryl Clark, for HealthLeaders Media, November 15, 2012

And there are a few more reasons why Canada spends less, she says.

Canada also has the advantage of enjoying bulk purchasing to obtain lower prices on drugs and devices, which reduces their cost to 40% of what American payers must shell out, she says. The cost of malpractice insurance is lower.

And, the same system pays for all care, including care required to deal with medical errors. "If you got injured while you were in the hospital, you'd know that your future healthcare costs would automatically be covered, so with a national healthcare insurance program you wouldn't have to sue providers to recover that," she says.

I acknowledge that Woolhandler and Himmelstein are controversial lefties. Their view of the world would eliminate health insurance plans and move the country to one source of payment for healthcare.

But given the fiscal cliff, sequestration, and the fact that healthcare spending takes up roughly 16% of our gross domestic product, their point may have some merit.

Medicare has worked well for 50 million people in the U.S. enrolled today. But the way it works is just too darn expensive.


Cheryl Clark is senior quality editor and California correspondent for HealthLeaders Media. She is a member of the Association of Health Care Journalists.
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12 comments on "Why Healthcare Costs Trillions Less in Canada"


Dan Ross (11/26/2012 at 4:31 PM)
On a population basis this study appears right on. Notice the study makes no comparison of the survival time for Canadian citizens afflicted with serious disease? A better question may be, if one diagnosed with advanced ?? and covered by Medicare would he/she chose the medical expertise of Canada or the US? In Florida our hospitals enjoy a booming business of Canadians traveling for advanced medical treatments. How long does a patient in the Canadian national system have to wait for a MRI when their GP suspects possible brain cancer? In the UK it's 3 months. In the US 3-4 days? Other countries are cheaper for the reasons highlighted in the study but additionally due to the R word, rationing!

Sue (11/21/2012 at 10:47 AM)
this artical is false, misleading and a joke

emil cici (11/19/2012 at 7:40 PM)
When was the last time the Canadian System developed a major surgical or device break thru? Why do Canadians cross over the border into the US for surgical procedures.Including the Canadian Prime Minister? When was the last time a Canadian Company developed a major drug that significantly impacted a disease entity?