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 FactCheck.org (a site which is routinely name-checked by honest people of both parties) or CNN Fact Check on President Obama’s address tonight.