Reprinted from The Bullet.
An interview with Robert Chernomas by Robin Chang
In North American debates over healthcare, Canada’s universal public ‘single-payer’ system of health insurance is often celebrated compared to the private employer-delivered system for being lower cost, more accessible, and producing superior health outcomes. But recently, the Canada Health Accord has ended, and ‘Obamacare’ has been installed, which are major developments in the political economy of healthcare financing in both countries. In both cases, it appears that neoliberalism’s tendency for the state to assist in the privatization of the public sector is very strong in the advanced capitalist societies of North America given the balance of class forces and the condition of capital accumulation, even though from an efficiency standpoint, the Canadian model does seem to be superior. Since the financial and economic crisis of 2008, how can the structural changes in healthcare in Canada and the U.S. be understood by healthcare activists and researchers?
Robert Chernomas is based in the Department of Economics at the University of Manitoba and specializes in the political economy of healthcare. He has published on the political economy of neoliberalism in Canada and the U.S. and the political economy of the welfare state in advanced capitalist societies. His most recent book, co-authored with Ian Hudson, is To Live and Die in America: Class, Power, Health and Health Care (2013).
Robin Chang is in the Department of Political Science at York University, where he studies Marxian political economy and is writing his dissertation on the political economy of health and healthcare in Canada and the United States.