Obamacare: Lessons from the North

Cambria Press academic publisher

“Comparative and multidimensional. … the study carefully documents the conflicts inherent in any federal systems. This puts the U.S. federal–state challenges into perspective and means that Americans have something to learn from the experiences of the Canadian provinces … extremely valuable to scholars.” – Publius: The Journal of Federalism

A recent Huffington Post article reports that “one big hurdle to future sign-ups is the public’s chronically poor understanding of how key parts of Obamacare can help low- and middle-income people afford coverage. … And public opinion about the law itself is negative.” Given how there are still an estimated 54 million Americans are still uninsured, improving public understanding of the subsidies appears to be crucial to boosting enrollment, as the report states. “There was sometimes a mismatch between perception and reality,” said Jenny Sullivan, director of Enroll America’s Best Practices Institute.

In The Political and Economic Sustainability of Health Care in Canada, the study found that “perceived needs and perceived resource limitations are important factors affecting economic and political sustainability.”  There are similarities between the Canadian and U.S. health systems that Monique Bégin, former Canadian Minister of National Health and Welfare, said that “the American public views the Canadian healthcare system either as a socialist NHS or at best–an unending challenge to square a circle. In fact, this original universal health care system embodies the difference between political cultures of two otherwise similar countries” and because the book’s “remarkable comparative analysis sheds light on how the Canadian ‘medicare’, as people call it, copes with the pressures of financial sustainability. Fascinating is the discussion of how varied provincial political leaders promote an increased role for the private sector within the historical parameters of the Canada Health Act (1984), and the difficulty for Canadians to remain ‘objective’ in discussing the private sector in health care. This publication is an authoritative study of interest for readers on both sides of the 49th parallel.”

In its review of the book, the journal Publius: The Journal of Federalism praised the book for being “extremely valuable to scholars” and that it “puts the U.S. federal–state challenges into perspective and means that Americans have something to learn from the experiences of the Canadian provinces.”

See this book by public health and policy experts Howard Palley, Marie-Pascale Pomey, and Owen Adams at the Cambria Press booth (524) at the 2014 APSA book exhibit, or browse it online now using the Cambria Press Free Preview Tool.

See also #APSA2014 book highlights.

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