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Medicare

The publicly financed and universally accessible Canadian healthcare system has been a source of pride and delight to many Canadians since 1947, when Saskatchewanfirst adopted the policy of "Medicare".In fact there was so much enthusiasm for publicly financed, universal healthcare that within 14 years, "all 10 provinces and two territories had public insurance plans that provided comprehensive coverage for in-hospital care." (Health Canada)However over the past ten years, the perceived quality of health care has markedly decreased and an increasing number of Canadians are crying out for Medicare reform.The healthcare situation is perceived to have become so grave that in 2000, "Ipsos-Reid surveyed Canadians on the state of Medicare: 78 percent of Canadians suggested that the system is in crisis." (Gratzer 18)Many Canadians find even the current level of service inadequate. Further, as the average age of Canadians increases, the cost of maintaining even today's level of service will undoubtedly increase.Most Canadians agree that some reform is in order, however the nature and extent of such reform remains a hotly debated subject.
A question that arises in Medicare debates is: whether American-style privatization would be preferable to our publicly funded system?Advocates of the former view argue that the American brand of healthcare offers its users "maximum flexibility" (Gladwell and Gopnik 366) and that allowing the healthcare sector to be controlled by the market will "solve its inefficiencies and will ultimately give you all the things markets give you: innovation." (Gladwell and Gopnik 368)Conversely, others argue that socialized medicine must continue to be maintained in its entirely, i.e. 100 per cent.One such advocate, Adam Gopnik, asserts that completely socialized medicine is the ideal system in part because users need not worry "How much will th…

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