At the beginning of the 1970s, Canada and the U.S. were both spending 7.5% of GDP on health care costs. By the end of the 1970s, Canada was still at 7.5% but U.S. spending on health care had gone up to 9% of GDP. During that period Canada instituted a comprehensive national health care program. The U.S. did not.
As before, the hospital industry's lobbying efforts were largely responsible for the failure of reform and the resulting rise in U.S. health care costs. As one government official put it, the hospital industry's influence on Congress put health care reform "at the outer limits of political possibility."
Starr, Paul, The Social Transformation of American Medicine , Basic Books 1982 (winner Pulitzer Prize 1984), pages 411-413.