Which Country Has the Best Health Care System? Readers Respond

However, we should be careful not to think there are too many savings to be had by removing just any kind of administrative waste. numerous advocates have argued in which by removing medical underwriting as well as also individual rating, insurers could be much more efficient as well as also save money. After the Affordable Care Act imposed guaranteed issue as well as also community ratings, huge savings did not result. Further, one person’s waste is usually another person’s job. The trade-offs can’t be ignored.

The Best Health Care System inside earth: Which One could You Pick?

Assessing the systems in eight countries can inform the debate inside U.S. over universal coverage.


Based on personal experience with the German health care system as well as also my sister’s personal experience with the Swiss system: Both systems use competing nonprofit private companies (in which is usually the key) in which are heavily regulated. A highly regulated nonprofit company is usually an efficient compromise construction between a government single-payer system (not exposed to competition) as well as also between a free market of competing, unregulated, for-profit health insurance companies. — Gerhard, NY

Austin as well as also Aaron respond:

This particular may be entirely correct. Let’s remember in which Switzerland won the battle, as well as also most people in in which country do have insurance coming from a regulated market of guaranteed-issue, community-rated nonprofit private insurance companies. Many components of the United States health care system are nonprofit, too, as well as also there’s a robust literature on how nonprofit as well as also for-profit entities fare relative to each additional. For instance, there appears to be a relationship between the availability of nonprofit nursing homes in an area as well as also levels of consumer welfare. A “review of systematic reviews” of profit versus nonprofit hospitals found in which for certain outcomes nonprofit hospitals performed better. Overall quality as well as also efficiency differences could not be determined, though. In general, however, in which appears in which for-profit entities focus on cost (pushing in which lower) while nonprofits focus on quality (pushing in which higher). There are always trade-offs, as well as also we inside U.S. have generally favored the latter.


Weird how you picked the U.K. as well as also Germany yet not the Netherlands. According to the annual Euro Health Consumer Index (E.H.C.I.), the Netherlands systematically has the best health care in Europe — yes, better than Switzerland, year on year, as well as also with the U.K. at 14th sandwiched between Portugal (13th) as well as also the Czech Republic (15th). — Rdeman, London

Austin as well as also Aaron respond: There are, of course, more countries than we had space to discuss. We tried to pick countries in which varied across the spectrum coming from socialized to privatized. Though we welcome delving more deeply into some of these additional countries, aspects of them are close to those of the ones we’ve already discussed. The Netherlands, like many additional countries, features a health care system along what the Princeton professor Uwe Reinhardt calls the “Bismarckian design,” in which health insurance is usually mandated coming from one of a tiny number of tightly regulated nonprofits.

People also can buy voluntary insurance above in which, which covers things not covered by statutory insurance. The country spends about 12 percent of gross domestic product on health care, as well as also out-of-pocket payments are quite low. How in which could have compared in This particular battle isn’t clear, yet we think in which could have done pretty well.


We received many, many testimonials coming from American readers who received Great treatment at reasonable prices (as well as also no payment troubles) while living abroad or traveling. By contrast, one reader coming from Australia advised in which all visitors to the United States “carry travel insurance,” as well as also a Canadian expressed surprise (below) at what awaited him after he broke his neck on a visit to the U.S.

all 5 years ago I fell off a rock as well as also broke my hip while vacationing in Ireland. An ambulance took me to the hospital. Needless to say, my biggest worry was how am I going to pay due to This particular. I was distraught. I had no coverage inside USA. The staff at the hospital were very kind as well as also assured me I could be O.K. They replaced my hip, as well as also when in which was time to leave, they asked if I could pay $0. No additional bills arriving four months later, like inside USA. $0, one bill, Done! Jaw-dropping amazing. I am grateful to Ireland, thank you! — Golf Pork, Seattle

I live in British Columbia. Some years ago I broke my neck in a motor vehicle accident in Washington State. I received excellent treatment as well as also had the comfort of knowing in which my British Columbia government health insurance could cover all expenses, even out of country. I was, however, taken aback when the first person I met inside emergency ward had a clipboard as well as also was asking me how I could pay for all This particular. I had never before faced This particular question. — David Paterson, Vancouver

Austin as well as also Aaron respond: We hesitate to allow anecdotes to define a health care system. What matters is usually the overall experience. T.R. Reid wrote an amazing book on This particular subject in 2009, though, which was reviewed inside brand-new York Times.

Another problem with anecdotes about overseas health care excellence is usually in which they can always be countered by people who came to the United States because they couldn’t get Great care in their country. We hear all the time about how people coming from Canada flock to the United States when wait times are too long. Those stories are almost always exceptions, not the rule, as a great paper in Health Affairs showed.

in which’s interesting to note, though, in which most of the stories inside comments are driven by the “shock” of Americans when they can receive high-quality, reasonably priced health care in additional countries. We’ve been conditioned to believe in which the only choices available are our system or utter chaos. This particular exercise was designed to show otherwise. There are lots of additional choices available, many of them are Great, as well as also some in which are probably better.

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