The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care by T. R. Reid:
The most distinctive lesson we could take, though, from Canada’s health care system is the key point of the Tommy Douglas saga: Universal health care coverage doesn’t have to start at the national level. Once Douglas established free hospital care in a poor rural province and made it work, the demonstration effect drove other provinces to do the same thing. And once Douglas established his taxpayer-funded Medicare system to pay all medical bills in the province, the demonstration effect quickly turned Saskatchewan’s idea into a national health care system that covers everybody.
If one of our fifty states were to try the same thing and make it work, the demonstration effect could spread across the United States. And if that were to happen, it would bear out one of Tommy Douglas’s most famous predictions: “If people see that we can provide health care to all, free at the point of service, so that any person, rich or poor, can get the medical treatment he needs—if people elsewhere see that, they’ll want it, too.”