Health Care Across the 49th Parallel

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Canadians are fond of saying their health care system is what sets them above the United States. But Canada’s universal, single-payer system, long plagued by waiting lists for procedures, unaffordable drugs, and outdated technology, has fallen on hard times.

This week in Canada, the headline story is the release of the Romanow Report, a comprehensive study of the national system, urging a $15 billion fix for health care. This situation has some Canadians looking over the border and suggesting that maybe, just maybe, the private sector does it better. But according to Romanow: It’s a “perversion of Canadian values to accept a system where money, rather than need, determines who gets access to care.” Diagnosing Canadian health care, and drawing lessons for America.


Antonia Maioni, professor of political science at McGill University, Montreal

Claudia Fegan, medical director of outpatient care at Provident Hospital, Chicago, and past president of Physicians for a National Health Program

Brian Lee Crowley, president of the Atlantic Institute for Market Studies in Nova Scotia.