Canada Care Act (1968) were combined to create

Canada has a mandatory, universal healthcare system that was established in 1984, popularly known as the Canada Health Act (Lieberman). The purpose of this act is to provide a healthcare system that is as universal and comprehensive as possible, and to be able to cover people of all socioeconomic classes. In 2010, the United States passed a similar policy, the Affordable Care Act, which attempted to create a near-universal coverage plan (Lieberman). However, the Affordable Care Act, affectionately referred to as Obamacare has come under heavy criticism from Republican opposition. This roadblock towards universal healthcare in America has greatly diminished its ability to cover all Americans of every social class.  While both countries have policies to make healthcare more affordable, the Canada Health Act is able to universally cover all citizens unlike the American Affordable Care Act.The Canadian healthcare system is a network of ten provincial and three territorial health care systems, which all work together into one larger organization. The cohesion of this network of systems relies on the Canada Health Act (1984) and a myriad of agreements between the federal, provincial, and territorial governments (Canada). In the latter half of the 1980s, additionally billing occurred in seven out of the ten provinces, violating the Canada Health Act. In response, the federal government prevented payments to these provinces, thereby providing the provincial governments with an incentive to actually enforce the principles of the Canada Health Act. The concept of the Canada Health Act is built on federal spending powers to establish a nation-wide, fully publicly funded health care system that bases patients’ access to health care services on their need, not on the individual’s ability to pay (Understanding). Two previous pieces of legislation –the Hospital Insurance and Diagnostic Services Act (1957) and the Medical Care Act (1968) were combined to create the Canada Health Act (Understanding). The primary philosophy behind this plan include five ideals: public administration, comprehensiveness, universality, portability and accessibility. By these rules, all residents are required to have access to insured or essentially “free” healthcare services on identical terms and conditions without additional financial charges. Discrimination of all types, including age, health status, race, gender, and financial circumstances, are forbidden (Understanding). While the Canada Health Act directly states that healthcare and health services must be administered on identical terms and conditions, this doctrine is increasingly under threat from independent clinics that are charging auxiliary fees for services that are already publicly insured (Understanding). This shift from public to private financing is increasingly common, especially in the thirteen provinces. In fact, as of 2010, it is estimated that approximately 30% of Canada’s healthcare system is financed privately, and not publically (Flood and Thomas 2010). Another issue being faced in the Canadian healthcare industry is the abysmal health statistics for aboriginal communities living within the three territories. Many see the need to improve access to these people, as well as improvements to the general quality of care. In comparison to the limited discussions of medical problems of Native Americans, Canada is leagues above the United States. The caliber of care provided by the Indian Health Service is under-review and constantly overlooked, a problem that is exacerbated by the private healthcare system (Lieberman).The United States has made many attempts to universalize the healthcare system over the past century. During his term, President Franklin D. Roosevelt lobbied heavily for a universal health care system, arguing for complete public funding of such an organization. His federal New Deal program showed massive leaps forward towards universal health care. The program had Roosevelt focused on the new concept of Social Security. In 1934, he established the Committee on Economic Security to both develop Social Security and a national health care system (Attempts). National healthcare was not ultimately implemented, and President Harry Truman tried to follow up on this push for a publically funded, universal health care system, with no success (Attempts). This idea was cast aside for a while, but in 1969, President Richard Nixon reintroduced the concept. Due to the dramatically rising costs of healthcare, Nixon spent the majority of his efforts attempting to pass a plan for national health insurance, although he was also unsuccessful. Even more drastic rising medical costs in the 1990s created a demand for a revision in the current healthcare system. As a reaction to this, President Bill Clinton tried to make healthcare a top priority during his presidency, as he considered it a necessity for the American people (Attempts). For decades, multiple Presidents and U.S. legislators have struggled with how to ensure all Americans with appropriate health insurance. In every other ‘developed’ country, and in those not considered developed, some kind of universal or near-universal coverage has been established (Health). Finally, universal healthcare made progress when President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, commonly shortened to Affordable Care Act (ACA) or “Obamacare.” (Health). Since the implementation of this policy, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has published survey claiming that the uninsurance rate in America has dropped to about 8.8 percent, which is the lowest rate since 1972. Other data suggests that over 20 million that were previously not insured had gained coverage by early 2016. Without the Affordable Care Act (ACA), the government had estimated there would have been over 57 million uninsured citizens (Health). Critics of this system have pointed out that almost 30 million people in the U.S. are still under insured or uncovered entirely (Health). Even though the ACA has clearly improved the quality of life for many Americans, the ACA is facing even more obstacles with the new administration. 2017 started off relatively well, but ended below the admittedly modest projections due to pushback from the current administration (Health). Although the United States has been attempting to establish a system similar to the ACA for almost 100 years, Republican support is very limited. The current political situation and general distaste for taxation implies that universal coverage could be seriously threatened in the near future.Similarly to the U.S., Canada is now facing healthcare problems of their own. New reformist policies are slowly shifting from publicly funded healthcare to privately funded. These changes are causing massive spikes in copayments as well as additional fees. For example, the Copeman Clinic in Vancouver now requires that patients pay an additional fee to even access physicians and specialists. Patients are obliged to register and pay a expensive enrollment fee, as well as an annual service charge (Understanding). This is not a single clinic issue; it has become an epidemic in the nation. Private MRI clinics have been increasing in popularity, blatantly ignoring the Canada Health Act set standards. These clinics, which have appeared all across the country, cause citizens to pay an out of pocket fee for an MRI, instead of billing the insurance company. These individuals, who can afford to pay a private fee, are able to get their test results more rapidly, and return to the public system for treatment ahead of those who can’t afford these fees (Understanding). By separating the quality of care for those who cannot afford this fee and those who can, an immense inequality is formed. These clinics go against all five main core aspects of the CHA, and exist in a legal limbo: the federal government has limited control over the provincial and territorial governments and is unable to completely stop the creation of these new facilities. Similarly to Canada, the United States’ conservative states and congressmen have historically resisted the ACA and any attempts to make healthcare more reasonably affordable. Critics cite the difficulty, both financially and structurally, to shift the system so deeply ingrained in society. Since 2010, approximately two-thirds of the fifty states have decided they would not apply the health insurance exchanges by themselves, at least not in the foreseeable future (Health). To bypass these opposing states, President Obama and his cabinet devised a plan to make obtaining affordable healthcare easier. After Obamacare was fully introduced in 2014, the website Healthcare.gov was created to facilitate and streamline this transition for all individuals. Unfortunately, the ACA has endured criticism from those who say the online system is too slow or unreliable for public use. Even after HealthCare.gov was repaired and working smoothly, most states decided to shift to the federal exchange rather than running their own (Health). Many who oppose the ACA, the majority of which are Republicans, hold misconceptions about how the system actually works, and a demonization of the organization as a whole has certainly affected many middle, lower, and working class citizens. Another setback for the movement is the general distrust of the government and desire to create systems outside of governmental control and governmental funding (Health Reform). Wealthy Americans feel that the ACA raises the cost of healthcare through taxation, and that they would pay significantly less without this policy. As with many liberal reformation ideas to help strengthen the lower class, a lack of empathy from the top 1% for those who are much less fortunate seems to be deeply embedded into political opinions on this issue. It has been statistically proven that national healthcare provides a more affordable, accessible, and quality health care then an independent one; yet this dream has yet to be realized.Since the time of President Roosevelt, there have been significant attempts to establish a national and universal system that would create affordable healthcare for all. While the U.S. has been slowly transitioning to a universal public healthcare system, recent shifts in politics and a massive shift in the political agenda of our new President imply that in the future, the government will stray from and even dismantle the Affordable Care Act. Despite the massive gains that have been attained from the continued use of this policy, the now Republican majority senate and President generally oppose the concept. With the U.S under a new and drastically different administration, the future of healthcare in America is uncertain. No legal advances have been made to abolish the system, but experts agree this is a reasonable expectation for the remainder of Donald Trump’s presidency. Greed is not just America’s driving factor to demolish affordable healthcare. Canada is facing a similar issue. With more and more private health corporations gaining popularity within the nation, current Canadian policies seem to be shifting towards the privatization of healthcare. While the Canada Health Act is far from perfect universal coverage, it is leaps beyond the current U.S. model, which is continually straying further and further from the idealistic universal coverage plan.