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This paper examines the efficiency and equity implications of alternative health care system financing strategies. Using data across the OECD, the author finds that almost all financing choices are compatible with efficiency in the delivery of health care, and that there has been no consistent and systematic relationship between financing and cost containment. Using data on expenditures and life expectancy by income quintile from the Canadian health care system, the author finds that universal, publicly-funded health insurance is modestly redistributive.
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