Which Is Better: Being Uninsured in the US or Being Insured by the Government in Canada?

This is from a study by June and David O'Neill for the Employment Policies Institute:

  • Among US women age 40 to 64, 87% of those with insurance had a mammogram within 5 years, compared to 65% of those without insurance.
  • The rate for Canadian women is 65% – the same as for uninsured women in the US.
  • Canadian women also have the same rate of screening for cervical cancer as uninsured US women (80%), over five years. Among insured US women, the rate is 92%.
  • Among uninsured US men, 31% were screened for prostate cancer, compared with 16% in Canada. For insured US men, the rate is 52%.

Comments (10)

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  1. Charlie says:

    Gotta love that. Not only would a federal takeover of health care limit many of our rights (Link, it would do it while providing less service.

  2. Ken says:

    Terrific post.

  3. Larry C. says:

    Thes results are really stunning. Thanks.

  4. Greg says:

    John, tell June and David this is very helpful information.

  5. Vicki says:

    Somebody needs to let the president in on these finding.

  6. Kaz Vorpal says:


    Check out the actual breakdown of the “47 million uninsured” numbers:

    The Breakdown

    The largest, overlapping, groups of uninsured in the US include:

    9,000,000 Millionaires
    27,000,000 people who make more than $50,000 per year, but choose not to get insurance
    22,000,000 Young adults who can afford insurance, but choose not to
    14,000,000 People who can already get medicaid, but choose not to
    11,000,000 Illegal Immigrants
    23,000,000 People who are actually insured. That’s right; you’ve been lied to…surprised?

    This adds up to more than forty seven million, because of the overlap – for example young adults who are millionaires and change insurance companies fit into four categories, above…

    Details about each category, and links to sources, are at the actual article:


  7. […] authors are on record as favoring Canada’s system of single-payer national health insurance. Yet insured patients in Canada fare worse than the uninsured in the United States. The O’Neills find […]

  8. […] is not a meaningful indicator of access to medical care in the U.S.  Uninsured Americans consume more primary care than “universally” insured Canadians. Patients in ERs are treated the same, […]

  9. Floccina says:

    But all that screening may not be good. Do not get me wrong it seems that the health gap between rich and poor is greater in Canada than in the USA but that could be for other reasons. From what I have heard those screens may not help and might even be counter productive.

  10. Mark Graban says:

    I just saw you on John Stossel’s show… sorry you had to debate that ignorant doctor.

    Thanks for sharing this data. It’s crazy that she could disagree with your facts because she feels like it is untrue.