How Much Might Universal Health Insurance Reduce Socioeconomic Disparities in Health?: A Comparison of the US and Canada
A strong association between lower socioeconomic status and worse health has been documented within many countries, but little work has been done to compare the strength of this relationship across countries. We compare the strength of the relationship between income and self-reported health in the US and Canada. We find that being below median income raises the likelihood that a middle-aged person is in poor or fair health by about 15 percentage points in the US, compared with less than 8 percentage points in Canada. We also find that this 7 percentage points stronger relationship between low income and poor health in the US compared with Canada is reduced by about 4 percentage points after age 65, the age at which virtually all US citizens receive basic health insurance through the Medicare programme. Income differences in the probability that an individual lacks a usual source of care are also significantly larger in the US than in Canada before the age of 65, but about the same after age 65. Our results are therefore consistent with the theory that the availability of universal health insurance in the US, or at least some other difference that occurs around the age of 65 in one country but not the other, decreases the difference in the strength of the income-health relationship in the US compared with Canada.
If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:wkh:aheahp:v:3:y:2004:i:4:p:205-216. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dave Dustin)
If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.
If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.
Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.