So yeah, there are more than one alternative to handle Healthcare in a country, and most of them have a bunch of hybrid solution that blends elements of them all.
So let’s run through the three “pure” ways of handling healthcare in a nation:
Universal government owned healthcare:
This is the one the American Republicans would call “Socialist”, it’s fairly straightforward, the state has every citizen in a giant database, you show up at your local hospital through either a doctor, an accident or the emergency room.
You get treated, it costs you absolutely nothing, it’s paid collectively through the taxes everyone pays. Fairly straightforward, this is the basic model used in the Scandinavian countries and to a degree Great Britain through the NHS.
It does carry a fairly large bill and depending on the nature of the system, a potential waiting list and inefficiency.
But people don’t die in the streets, or at home, generally.
Government owned, mandated or heavily legislated Healthcare insurance.
This is the method used in German and Japan, among others, it’s also fairly simple. It’s a system based on private or public hospitals, who get paid through either government run health insurance companies or private companies that often operate in a sort of cooperative method, i.e. mostly non-profit or mandated not to produce larger profits than some legislative limit.
It generally works, in Germany your job actually pays to private non-profit companies, and if you lose your job? Off to the government subsidy, so people, you know, don’t die in the gutter and other such uncivilized stuff.
I gave an example on the Japanese system in yesterdays update, it does seem to have some problems actually paying enough to the healthcare companies and doctors.
The anarchy model, no control, limited or no government intervention.
Note, that I refrain from using laissez faire, because this model sucks. This is the model most commonly used in dirt poor African and Asian nations, it’s absolutely horrible and mandates that the poor have to make use of local clinics, often funded by who knows what, and old traditional methods.
It’s also the American model, just with an actual healthcare system present, completely run through the medium of private for-profit virtually unregulated healthcare insurance companies, which is why the most common reason for bankruptcy in America, is medical bills.
It, as we have seen in the US, doesn’t work at all, even with the American patchwork programs of Medicare and Medicaid, who are only directed towards those below or just above some Federal Poverty limit, which is a problem when lots of people lose their jobs, and thus their healthcare insurance, and for when the profiteering companies decided to go “Ha ha, fuck you” and dump you for the old insurance “Act of God” bullshit.
Shit, there’s tons of hybrid solutions, the Universal Government Healthcare often has possibilities for the rich and resource wealthy to simply skip the entire public waiting list and emergency room and just check into one of the many private hospitals and recently, in Denmark at least, some companies hand out private insurance as a little additional to their crucial employees, insures that they get them back to work faster and more efficiently, it’s also often used to just everyone, to draw people to the company.
Not in these days with crisis of course.
The second option is really a hybrid already.
Now for the American/Dirt poor country method? Perhaps some sort of Government Non-profit Health Insurance company to provide some proper competition to large Insurance companies who really only benefit people with a job or their shareholders or their CEOs.
Or perhaps a shift into the second model, and regulated the shit out of an area that always should have been heavily legislated.