The United States Healthcare System Essay

The United States Healthcare System Essay

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With reforms to the United States healthcare system, through the Affordable Care Act, growing similarities exist between the US and German healthcare systems. Since 1998, Germany has had statutory health insurance, and recently the US has begun to enforce mandatory health insurance coverage. Although the systems have many similarities, the financial burden seems to be better dispersed than in the US system. While US spending per capita is almost double that of Germany, US scores below average on most quality of care indicators, while Germany is consistently above average (OECD, 2013).
The major focus when evaluating healthcare systems is cost, and its relation to effectiveness. Healthcare cost in several industrialized countries continues to rise. However, there are many different systems in place to control cost. Germany uses a system of sickness funds that are non-profit, competitive and nongovernment health insurance (Blumel, 2012, p. 46). Citizens may be part of the statutory health insurance and participate in these funds, or they may purchase private health insurance. There is a third and separate type of insurance is mandatory for the entire population, it is concerned with long term care and controlled by board review (Blumel, 2012, p. 49). The contribution to the sickness funds from the client, was 8.2 percent of gross wages in 2012 (Blumel, 2012, p. 47). There is a ceiling on this contribution. This percentage applies to earning up to $58,739 US dollars, anything earned past this point is not subject to contribution requirements (Blumel, 2012, p. 47). This cost not only covers the employees, but all unemployed dependents (Blumel, 2012, p. 47). This varies greatly from the US system, where you purchase plans and vastly v...


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...the issue seems to be with compatibility between the programs (Blumel, 2012, p. 51). The incentives Germany provides to providers to adopt DMPs is an attempt to minimize this issue.
With lower expenditures on health care, Germany seems to have consistently exceeded the US in the measures of quality and accessible health care. With two different type of mandatory health insurance, Germany shows a more effective and fair method. The contributions of a single employee may seem higher than that of the premiums in the US, but there are no additional fees for dependents. There is also much lower co-payments and deductible only apply to those who voluntary enter an insurance program that implements them. Although many may argue there are many more aspects to consider than cost to the consumer, Germany does rather well in delivering quality care and keeping cost minimal.


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