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HomePolicy Articles Article Summary

California Dreaming: The Fantasy of a Canadian-Style Health Insurance Monopoly in the United States

Digital Publication by Brett Skinner, Mark Rovere

The stated purpose of Brett Skinner and Mark Rovere’s article is to “warn Americans about the dangerous ideas contained in the Universal Health Insurance bill.” The UHI bill proposes to install a government-run health insurance monopoly in California. The authors contend that such a solution to the problem of covering uninsured individuals should be resisted. Skinner and Rovere look to Canada’s problems with wait times, limited access to new or more expensive treatments, and doctor shortages; they argue that monopolization of health insurance may be less expensive overall, but there is a corresponding loss of value for the dollar. In addition, they conclude that research indicates that with costs of the public system outstripping public sector revenues, the Canadian system is on the road to bankruptcy. The authors assert this course should be avoided in the Republic of California.

In noting a key decision by the Supreme Court of Canada that state monopoly in health insurance violates the individual’s right to choose and preserve his/her own health, the authors recommend extending private insurance. Skinner and Rovere contend the number of uninsured individuals in the US is exaggerated and that many uninsured are not financially incapacitated but choose not to buy insurance. Furthermore, the authors argue that to ensure maximum coverage, the California government should demand that all citizens show individual proof of purchase of insurance and subsidize individuals who demonstrate they truly cannot afford individual plans. Skinner and Rovere conclude that research shows that universal coverage is best achieved by making people prioritize their own income towards their own insurance, rather having their neighbours subsidize insurance for them through inefficient government plans.

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Policy Publication Details

Author(s): Brett Skinner; Mark Rovere;
Publisher: Fraser Institute [ Visit Website ]
Year Published: 2007; Publisher Type: Research Institute
Publicly Available: Yes Research Focus: International;
Registration Required: No Language: English
Payment Required: No Publication Format: Adobe PDF

Subjects / Categories:

Policy Articles / Health Care / Funding
Policy Articles / Health Care / Insurance
Policy Articles / Health Care / Privatization
Policy Articles / International Law & Politics / Canada - U.S. Relations
Policy Articles / Health Care
Policy Articles / International Law & Politics
Policy Articles / Health Care / Funding / 2007
Policy Articles / Health Care / Insurance / 2007
Policy Articles / Health Care / Privatization / 2007
Policy Articles / International Law & Politics / Canada - U.S. Relations / 2007


Keywords / Tags:

health; health care; privitization; insurance; government monopoly; Canada; United States; California; universal;