So What Does Health Care Look Like in Other Countries?

So, what does health care and insurance look like in other countries? T.R. Reid answers five common misunderstandings about other countries’ health care and insurance systems:

In many ways, foreign health-care models are not really “foreign” to America, because our crazy-quilt health-care system uses elements of all of them. For Native Americans or veterans, we’re Britain: The government provides health care, funding it through general taxes, and patients get no bills. For people who get insurance through their jobs, we’re Germany: Premiums are split between workers and employers, and private insurance plans pay private doctors and hospitals. For people over 65, we’re Canada: Everyone pays premiums for an insurance plan run by the government, and the public plan pays private doctors and hospitals according to a set fee schedule. And for the tens of millions without insurance coverage, we’re Burundi or Burma: In the world’s poor nations, sick people pay out of pocket for medical care; those who can’t pay stay sick or die.

For some more myths about health care reform, you can visit (a site which is routinely name-checked by honest people of both parties) or CNN Fact Check on President Obama’s address tonight.

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