R. G. Evans


Canada's system of universal public insurance for health care is by a considerable margin the nation's most successful and popular public program. Far more than just an administrative mechanism for paying medical bills, it is widely regarded as an important symbol of community, a concrete representation of mutual support and concern. In a nation subject to strong divisive forces rooted in both geography and history, the health insurance system is an important unifying idea as well as an institution. It expresses a fundamental equality of Canadian citizens in the face of disease and death, and a commitment that the rest of the community, through the public system, will help each individual with these problems as far as it can. "There is no social program that we have that more defines Canadianism or that is more important to the people of our country."'

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