Friday, September 25, 2009

Swiss healthcare: A model for the USA?

During the healthcare reform debate (which is really an insurance reform debate) we've heard a lot about the British National Health System (almost totally socialized and roundly criticized) and a little about the French system (less socialized, less criticized). I recently heard a suggestion that the Swiss system might be a model that would work in the USA. I have some more thoughts and information about all this at True North, including a summary of how that little alpine country approaches health insurance.

UPDATE: Meanwhile, Senator Max Baucus claims it's "too difficult" to put his proposed healthcare bill online so citizens can review it:
A proposal by Sen. Jim Bunning, R-Ky., that would have required the Senate Finance Committee to post the final language of the $900 billion health care reform bill, as well as a Congressional Budget Office cost analysis, on the committee’s website for 72 hours prior to a vote was rejected 12-11.
Too difficult. Yeah, right.


Anonymous CarlH said...

Doesn't the Wyden-Bennett proposal include a lot of the features of the Swiss system? It includes much that I personally think deserves serious consideration.

I heard Lanny Davis--yes, that Lanny Davis!--on Michael Medved's show today talking about the market aspects of the Wyden-Bennett proposal and it sounded VERY similar.

I know the Heritage Foundation doesn't like Wyden-Bennett much at all, and your post at True North suggests that you might have many of the same reservations. Given your particular background in health care law, your insights could be very helpful here. But I also realize that client representation can have its own complications to making strong political statements on one side or the other of issues like this.

But the demands for ideological "purity", which seems to be an article of faith for many conservatives, can be steamrolled in the political arena (which some might have considered learning from the Republicans' electoral--and especially presidential--debacle last year).

For what it's worth, Lanny Davis said (in response to a question from Medved about why more Republicans hadn't signed on to that alternative) that Wyden was working on trying to get more Democratic sponsors and wanted to avoid having too many Republicans jump on board early and create the perception it is "the Republican alternative" rather than a bi-partisan one.

I also know that Republicans who have announced they will either run against or oppose Sen. Bennett (R-Utah)--because they view him as "too moderate"--in his reelection race in 2010 are already trying to spin his support for this bill as a weapon to tap into the widespread disdain for Obamacare.

IMO, we are in a world of hurt when the President and most of the Democrats refuse to consider any alternatives (or even have meaningful discussions of the weaknesses of their proposals) to the Congressional bill, and the Republicans can't get a message out about any alternative either. Of course, I have given up on the news media doing their job and covering these issues.

Friday, September 25, 2009 4:16:00 PM  

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