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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