Thursday, December 6, 2007

Canada in the News

Some people, on occasion, have given me a little stick over the past year or so because they think that I think that Canada is some magical paradise, a panacea for all the ills the US is going through, a place where everyone is healthy and happy and owns a government-issued pony.

They further interpret this made-up position of "mine" as being somehow anti-US, as though saying anything good about another country, such as "I quite like Danish furniture" is somehow an attack not only on American furniture, but on the US way of life in general.

I have always found this attitude bizarre in the extreme, but it's a lot more common than you might think. Until we hit the Pacific Northwest, almost everyone who heard we were moving to Canada asked for an explanation with obvious confusion and suspicion, as though such a thing was as unthinkable as Mike Gravel winning the presidency.

I mention this because I came across the following chart, and wanted to point out that putting it here does not mean that either of us believe Canada's health system to be perfect or even superior to the US (at least not yet - we should have a report on our experiences soon enough).

All it means is exactly what it says: not only does Canada spend considerably less per person on heathcare, they also manage the growth in costs far better than the US. It's something the American people should be aware of (without spin) and consider for themselves. I wish it was a bigger issue among the candidates and public.


Anonymous said...

Interesting chart Chas. Did you know that the World Health Organization ranked Canada's Health System 30th (US was 37th) mostly because of inefficient spending? While the health of the population was ranked 7th, the bang for the buck so to speak was not there.