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What Is Your Healthcare System and Why Does It Matter?

Four models rule the developed world. The U.S. system is the most inefficient.

Citizens of industrialized countries other than the United States must find the debates over healthcare in the U.S. puzzling. After all, they have had universal healthcare for many decades while the U.S. lacks any such system, despite the passage in 2010 of the Affordable Care Act (otherwise known as the ACA or Obamacare).

Of course, it is more complicated than that. The United States has some of the best healthcare services in the world for those who can gain access to them, largely through employer-sponsored private health insurance. On the other hand, Canada, which boasts of its system of universal healthcare, has some of the longest waiting times in the industrialized world for many procedures and treatments.