Not even close.
According to the World Health Organization, Canada ranks 30th in the
world, with the US ranking 38th.
Bang for the buck
Thus, while Canada
and the US are both only middling performers, we both have a very great deal to
learn from other places that manage to combine costs that are no higher than
Canada’s (and frequently are lower) and population health outcomes (e.g.
longevity, infant mortality, etc., etc.), that are as good or better.
Let me offer a
comparison that will shake some of the complacent assumptions that many
Americans seem to have about the equity and effectiveness of the Canadian health
care system. Let’s talk about infant mortality for African-American babies vs.
Canadian babies. Infant mortality risk is a function of birth-weight, with the
risk of death rising as the birth weight falls. Now over the full range of low
birth-weights (i.e. any birth-weight below 2500 grams), African-American babies
fare better than Canadian babies, except at the very top end of the range, where
they are essentially equal. In short, among low birth-weight babies, it is safer
to be born to an African-American family than it is to be born to the average