Health Policy Reflection

 Health Policy Reflection The 21st century has ushered in an array of new global challenges. While the United s has tremendous issues it must face, one of the most prominent of these difficulties is health care. Despite placing considerable emphasis on health care, the United States continues to spend considerably more on this need than other nations. Despite paying more, the United States receives less comprehensive health care than many international countries. Through a comparison of the United States’ health care policy with the health care policy in Canada, this essay attempts to determine why others countries can achieve better health care for less money.

When comparing the United States’ health care system to the Canadian health care system one of the most prominent recognitions is that the United States charges considerably more for the same procedures. Mack (2011) indicates that the average cost of an appendectomy in the United States is $8,000. This is compared with Canada where the average cost of this operation is $5,000. There are a variety of reasons for this price disparity. One of the most prominent recognitions is that in the United States considerable amount more money goes towards administrative costs. These costs extend to the medical professionals as well. It’s recognized that many qualified medical professionals leave Canada to pursue higher paying jobs in the United States. While United States medical administrators and physicians receive higher salaries, this does not directly translate into improved quality of care.

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Another prominent difference between the United States and Canadian health care systems is the type of medical interventions that are implemented. In the United States there is considerable emphasis placed on expensive interventions. For instance, United States medical treatment regularly involves tonsillectomies, knee replacements, and MRIs. While these interventions are implemented in the Canada, the Canadian health care system places more focus on treatment at the primary care physician level. Klune (2011) indicates that in great part the Canadian primary care system is able to treat these issues before they become more large-scale and require expensive interventions.

A final consideration is the nature of attitudes and socioeconomic conditions within the United States. An amount of research has argued that one of the major reasons the United States must spend more on health care costs than Canada is because the United States crime rate is higher (O’Neil 2007, p. 42). This higher crime rate then results in more treatment for victims. Still other perspectives consider that the United States doesn’t place a high enough emphasis on exercise as a health care strategy (Weir 1992, p. 313). These socioeconomic conditions and attitudes then contribute to higher health care costs.

In conclusion, this essay has compared the United States’ health care policy with Canada’s policy. The essay has demonstrated that the United States pays more for health care yet receives worse results. Among the major reasons include the United States higher costs of physicians and medical administrators, the Canadian system’s more effective primary care system, and finally because of dysfunctional attitudes and poor socioeconomic conditions in the United States.


Klune, S. (2011). Why does health care cost so much in the united states? . Retrieved from

Mack, J. (2011). why does u.s. health care cost so much?. Retrieved from

ONeill, D. M., (2007) “Health Status, Health Care and Inequality: Canada vs. the U.S.”,

National Bureau of Economic Research, NBER Working Paper 13429.

Weir M.R. (1992). “Childhood Obesity and treatment mechanisms”. American Journal of

Diseases of Children 146 (3): 313–6.

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