No. of Recommendations: 8
Just finished "The Healing of America:A Global Quest for Better Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care" by T R Reid. Reid was the reporter in the Frontline report. Reid headed a news organization in both UK & Japan so had personal experience with those 2 systems. For his book he visited France, Germany, Japan, UK, & Canada. Besides interviewing government but visited with doctors to have them look at his bum shoulder that was broken while serving in the US Navy & screwed together by a Navy doc. His shoulder is stiff but not painful. His range of arm motion is limited though. Reid first had US ortho doc look at his shoulder. The physician indicated a full shoulder replacement could be done but did not recommend it. He got the same advice from the French, German & Japanese doctors. The UK GP doctor said he could refer him to an ortho doc but it would be a 3 month wait. But since Reid could live his life without serious impairment the NHS would not do a shoulder replacement operation. Reid could have it done privately at Reid's expense. Reid couldn't visit with a Canada ortho doc as the waiting period was too long.

One thing I noticed was that France, Germany, Switzerland & Japan utilize private insurers for payment of services. That payment is much swifter than in the US-1 to 2weeks. He reported that France's administrative cost is 5%!

What all the foreign health care systems have in common was that the government negotiated and set pricing for all visits, procedures, tests, hospitalization & drugs. All prices are known. In doctor's offices their are signs & pricing for procedures not covered by their respective governments. So in the countries that utilize private insurers, all the insurers pay the same.

I also noted that malpractice insurance was a tenth of the cost of what US doctors have to pay. And in some nations, the government pays it.

So it is the government negotiating & setting pricing that leads to affordable health care not who is the transfer agent for payment. That in conjunction with low or no cost university education aids in bring down costs as foreign doctors income is half of US compensation. Of course that education ain't free but spread amongst each nation's taxpayers. It is the price those societies impose upon themselves.
I believe that choice was heavily influenced by the 2 world wars europe suffered. Better for government taxes be spent on education & health care than funding large military forces.

Opposing such government intervention here is an array of special interest groups. The Swiss managed to do it. Passing legislation in 1994 & implementing the system in 1996. The Clinton effort was stymied. And the Obama solution did not address cost containment which is the #1 issue IMO. Expanding coverage while not addressing cost put the cart before the horse.
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