Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Going Dutch

"Universal" health care is the buzz. It seems everyone wants to know why other countries have "free" health care and we don't.

But no one ever bother's to find out if these other systems work.

The short answer is, they all have flaws. None are perfect.

But one system seems to have promise.

Starting in 2006 residents of the Netherlands were required to have health insurance.


The government subsidizes policies for adults who can’t afford to pay premiums and makes “risk-equalization” payments to insurers that cover the elderly and those with some chronic conditions such as diabetes.

The government (taxpayer) subsidizes policies for low income residents and those who have high risk medical conditions.

The idea behind the Dutch is that individuals will enroll in health plans that provide the coverage they need instead of a one-size-fits-all plan chosen by an employer. And individuals will pay more attention to health costs, which are largely ignored when the government picks up the tab.

I think it has promise.
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