Other States

No states currently offer their own healthcare plan for all their citizens.  However, one state had their own system before Obamacare.


The state built a precursor to the ACA, “RomneyCare,” in 2006.  The program resulted in 97% of Massachusetts residents having healthcare.  The program ended with the advent of the ACA.

In the rest of the world, the United States and Mexico are the only industrialized countries without universal healthcare.  In fact, “Nations that have adopted single-payer systems cut across cultures, political ideologies, and levels of development.  They include countries as different as the United Kingdom, Iceland, Taiwan, Spain, and Cuba.”

Many critics of American healthcare compare our private system to Canada’s single-payer system. Canada’s system is often caricatured as being inefficient with long wait times for services.

This is not, however, the reality.  Philip Kotler, S. C. Johnson Distinguished Professor of International Marketing at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, has recently described the Canadian system:

Costs are paid through funding from income taxes. There are no deductibles on basic health care and co-pays are kept extremely low…One’s health coverage is not affected by loss or change of jobs, as long as premiums are up to date. There are no lifetime limits or exclusions for pre-existing conditions.

Canadians chose their family physician (called a general practitioner or GP). If the person wants to see a specialist, the GP will make a referral. The median wait time to see a specialist physician is a month. The median wait time for diagnostic services such as MRI and CAT scans is two weeks. The median wait time for surgery is four weeks.

Pharmaceutical medications are covered by public funds for the elderly or indigent, or through employment-based private insurance. The Canadian government negotiates drug prices with suppliers to control costs….

The main thing to notice is that Canada’s healthcare cost to its GDP is 11 percent whereas the U.S. cost is 17 percent of the GDP.