As the chart below reveals, the cost gap between the United States and Canada has only widened since 1993, and per capita health care expenditures in the United States are now almost double those in Canada ($6,401 vs. $3,359). Canada's per capita health expenditures rose about 65% from 1993 to 2005, while costs in the United States rose by over 90%.
Yet infant mortality in the United States is higher and life expectancy at birth is less than in Canada. It is also noteworthy that despite Canada's much lower expenditures on health care, Canadians consult with physicians far more often than do Americans. The average number of physician consultations per capita was 6.0 in Canada, versus 3.8 in the United States.I read somewhere that Americans want some kind of national health insurance system, but those of us who have insurance now are afraid to give up what we have. In other words, we're more comfortable dancing with the devil we know versus the one we don't.
What will it take to get real change? Our inaction is costing us money, jeopardizing people's health, and costing people their lives. We can't afford to let our fear immobilize us any longer.