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Relatively Inaccessible Abundance: Reflections on U.S. Health Care


  • Ivy Lynn Bourgeault


Outsiders' views of American health care - and Canadian views in particular - contains this paradox: ready access to excellent high tech services for those who can pay but unfortunately too expensive for many Americans; in essence, inaccessible abundance. In this paper, I embellish upon this paradox with an initial examination of the rather complicated organization of American health care as viewed by an outside observer. I then highlight the key benefits and drawbacks seen of U.S. health care, grounded in empirical data, and how despite its drawbacks it is being spread to other countries. I conclude with a discussion of the values inherent in the provision of health care - that is, whether it should be viewed as a commodity or as a right of the citizens of a nation.

Suggested Citation

  • Ivy Lynn Bourgeault, 2007. "Relatively Inaccessible Abundance: Reflections on U.S. Health Care," Social and Economic Dimensions of an Aging Population Research Papers 203, McMaster University.
  • Handle: RePEc:mcm:sedapp:203

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    U.S. health care; accessibility; external views;

    JEL classification:

    • I18 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Government Policy; Regulation; Public Health

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