Date of Award


Degree Type



Exercise Science

Director of Thesis

Ms. Barbara Cuevas

First Reader

Mrs. Morgan Collins

Second Reader

Mrs. Morgan Collins


The United States healthcare system is a constant source of debate and public interest, with the only common ground between political parties being that the current system is deeply flawed and needing improvement. Individuals often point to European single-payer systems as the answer, neglecting to mention the flaws also inherent in these systems. This thesis aims to suss out the successes and failings of the Irish and American healthcare systems through a thorough scholarly literature review, with an emphasis on the two countries’ origins and development, to lead to a discussion about why two countries with similar historical beginnings have created two vastly different, failing healthcare systems. While the United States focuses on freedom of choice and the importance of a free-market, the Irish prioritize equality above all else and yet fail to deliver equal care. This, in conjunction with the scientific discoveries that occurred in the 150 years between the countries’ inceptions, and Ireland’s proximity to the world wars, has led to their differing approaches to healthcare. Their modern systems are both heavily flawed and in desperate need of improvement. Through comparing their specific failures and current proposals, this thesis aims to discover errors that led each plan astray, in order to suggest future improvements that will genuinely benefit the citizens of each country.

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