Week 4 Topic includes information about low health indicators in the US, along with high cost, medical errors and other problems. Three countries with better health status indicators are also mentioned.
1)Read about Japan, France, and Switzerland and compare and contrast these systems to the US health system.
2)What components of these systems can you relate to ours?
3)What can we learn from these systems?
THEN RESPOND TO THE 2 POST BELLOW (150 words each)
After reading about healthcare in other countries, I am almost grateful that we have the insurance that we do here in America. While some things seem better, many things to me sound worse than what we deal with now. Some similarities between US healthcare and Japan, Switzerland and France are:
- All the countries provide healthcare to the indigent
- No matter the country and type of healthcare, they all seem more expensive to the average consumer
- Many citizens in all the countries purchase supplemental insurance
- Switzerland, like the US, offers patients the ability to choose their own providers(Rovner, 2008, Shafrin, 2008, Tanner, 2008)
Some major differences in the healthcare of these countries and the United States:
- Neither the French nor Swiss seem to have plans in place for elder care, like a Medicare-type program
- Few Swiss employers provide or contribute towards insurance so consumers must pay the full cost of insurance and pay twice the amount of out of pocket expenses than the US. (Pg. 388)
- Swiss consumers who are healthier pay higher premiums than the less healthy to subsidize costs.
- French employees pay 20% of their gross salary in payroll taxes that fund healthcare.
- The French government makes it very difficult for insurers to deny coverage of pre-existing conditions and the national system pays 100% of costs for over 30 chronic diseases, such as cancer and diabetes. (Pg. 386)
To me, these countries’ health systems seem very expensive to the average consumer, although the percentage spent on healthcare of the Gross Domestic Product is significantly smaller than the US, but France and Switzerland still rank as a couple of the most expensive healthcare systems in the world, at 11.6 and 11.7% respectively.(Pgs. 386, 387) Here in America, we, for now, have the option to at least choose who we want to be insured by, the kind of plan we want and how we want to spend our funds, as in higher premiums and cheaper copays, or vice versa. The French and Japanese are not given much choice. I would have to look at the average salary of a French citizen, but I don’t think I would like 20% of my pay going straight to insurance. Currently, I pay about 4% of my income towards my insurance. I know that America needs healthcare reform, but these other countries do, too. I think they are going in the right direction though, with concentrating more on generic pharmaceuticals and having the government regulate prescription drug prices, as in Switzerland. The United States healthcare system is run by the insurance companies and the pharmaceutical companies, not the government. I think they could take more governmental control while still giving the citizens some choices in their care.
. “Prices and benefit coverage are more highly regulated in Switzerland. Also the U.S. system remains primarly employer-based and the Switzerland is not.
ReferencesThe French health care system is the best in the world which is regarded by the World Health Organization.Obamacare is a first step and has already caused the annual increase in healthe care costs to slow down. In 2012, health care costs 4% less than half of the rate from just a decade ago. However,its not sufficient to cure the problem. The health care costs would have to be brought down in absolute term to coincide with the French health care cost.
In U.S. the private health care industry is the culprit. It is a monopolist and exploit the inelastic demand for health care and upped prices. Also, the drugs costs are higher in U.S. than in France. France differs in their approach to regulating the cost of health care services in their country. France has a organization called the CNAMTS that monitor spending for services across the country.
In Japan health care system provides much more comprehensive coverage for its citizens. Everyone participates in a universal insurance system, the fees of which are set by government committees. Most people get access to this insurance through work, but those who do not have the option can participate in a separate national health insurance program run by their local government. In general, the Japanese health care system covers more services with fewer hoops to jump through than the American one. Most people can get appointments with a specialist without having to go through a general practitioner. The prices for the services is relatively inexpensive. In the US, you pay $1,200.00 for an MRI neck scan. In Japan, you will pay about $100.
Switzerland’s health care model successfully delivers much of what the U.S. is trying to achieve: universal coverage through mandatory private insurance. The Swiss do not have socialized medicine, though the government regulates the insurance industry and defines what health services must be offered. Employers not provide insurance, so people are free to shop and not feel obligated to stay in a job solely for the health benefits it offers. Patients can choose any physician and there is no wait for to see specialists or have surgery. Insurers cannot turn anyone down or delay coverage due to age, medical history, or health risks. The Switzerland’s population is among the healthier in the world.
Obamacare has many similarities with the switzerland system – like indivual mandates and competion among private insurers- but there are also differences