Separated at Birth: The Politics of Pharmacare for All in Canada and Medicare for All in the United States; Comment on “Universal Pharmacare in Canada”

Document Type : Commentary


Munk School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada


Policy decisions about healthcare coverage in Canada and the United States in the 1960s placed two virtually identical systems on different evolutionary paths in the physician and hospital sectors. However, prescription drug coverage remained outside Canada’s single-payer model, and employer-based coverage continued to be the norm for the workforce population, as is the case across the broad healthcare system in the United States. As a result the current debate about pharmacare in Canada mirrors in political microcosm the larger debate on universal health insurance among American Democrats. In each case the near-term prospects for a single-payer plan appear slim.


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Volume 10, Issue 3
March 2021
Pages 162-164
  • Receive Date: 01 January 2020
  • Revise Date: 23 February 2020
  • Accept Date: 25 February 2020
  • First Publish Date: 01 March 2021