Academic journal article Canadian-American Public Policy

To Our Readers

Academic journal article Canadian-American Public Policy

To Our Readers

Article excerpt

At first glance readers familiar with CAPP will observe that this issue departs from the usual format. Rather than featuring a single essay, Number 51 contains several of varying lengths by five scholars, all focused on a single topic--health care policy--that is quite high on the public policy agenda nowadays in Canada, the United States, and several other nations. As a result of sagging economies, aging populations, escalating costs, coverage gaps, and service delays, some national health care systems seem badly strained or inadequately funded. Debate over what to do about the "crisis", or even if there is one, has been echoing through the corridors of national, state and provincial capitols. Since the collapse of the World Trade towers health care policy has become a leading concern at the state level partly because of Washington's single-minded focus on the terrorist issue. At the same time, two major investigations of the Canadian Medicare system (the Kirby and Romanow Reports) are offering somewhat diff erent prescriptions for health care reform north of the 49th parallel.

Given Maine's long boundary with Canada, it should not be surprising to CAPP readers that some of its citizens are looking across the border to Canada's universal single-payer Medicare system with considerable envy. Well before the fall elections, groups of seniors had begun to charter buses carrying them to the nearest Canadian border-town pharmacy in order to purchase cheaper medicine, and rising drug costs became a hotly debated issue in Maine's senatorial race. Two of the state's three candidates for governor, one a Democrat (who won the contest) and the other representing the Green Party, strongly advocated different strategies to make affordable health insurance available to everyone m this state. …

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