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How the Canadian health system works, and doesn't

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Chemotherapy room
A nurse is working in a room where patients undergo chemotherapy treatment, on February 6, 2013.
PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images

A focus on one of the most complicated issues facing the new Congress and the new Minnesota Legislature: How to improve the health care and health insurance system.

Johns Hopkins researchers reported this week that Americans spend much more for health care than people in other developed countries. Twice as much as Canada.

From the Humankind series, an exploration of the Canadian health care system, and what it might tell us about the best ways to change, or not change, our American health care system.

Canadian physician Danielle Martin says the Canadian system is very popular and effective, but there are some downsides. And some American policy-makers are considering a "public option" here. 

Guests:

Dr. Danielle Martin, physician and associate professor of medicine at the University of Toronto. Author of "Better Now."

Yale University political science professor Jacob Hacker, co-author of "American Amnesia: How the War on Government Led Us to Forget What Made America Prosper."

Produced for the Humankind series by David Freudberg, in association with WGBH/Boston and Connie Goldman Productions.

To listen to the program, click the audio player above.