Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Canadian use of US health care 'infinitesimal'

Phantoms In The Snow: Canadians' Use of Health Care Services In The United States
Health Affairs: PROLOGUE: Over the past three decades, particularly during periods when the U.S. Congress has flirted with the enactment of national health insurance legislation, the provincial health insurance plans of Canada have been a subject of fascination to many Americans. What caught their attention was the system's universal coverage; its lower costs; and its public, nonprofit administration. The pluralistic U.S. system...stands in many ways in sharp contrast to its Canadian counterpart...

Throughout the 1990s... opponents argued that 'refugees' of Canada's single-payer system routinely came across the border seeking necessary medical care not available at home because of either lack of resources or prohibitively long queues. This paper... depicts this popular perception as more myth than reality, as the number of Canadians routinely coming across the border seeking health care appears to be relatively small, infinitesimal when compared with the amount of care provided by their own system.

Chart source here: