The United States should look to Switzerland as a model for a new healthcare system, one marked by private insurance companies offering affordable plans to its citizens, experts and academics say.
Swiss private insurers are required to cover all citizens, regardless of age or medical history, and the Swiss are required to buy health insurance.
The Swiss government also doles out cash subsidies to people if their health insurance equals more than 8 percent of personal income.
“Switzerland’s health care system is different from virtually every other country in the world,” says Regina Herzlinger, a Harvard Business School professor.
“What I like about it is that it’s got universal coverage, it’s customer driven, and there are no intermediaries shopping on people’s behalf,” she told The New York Times.
A U.S. healthcare overhaul bill in Congress is moving along although proponents of having a public option in the legislation are having a tough time.
Recently, a Senate panel reviewing the bill rejected a public insurance option, a priority of the Obama administration.
The panel's Democratic chairman, Senator Max Baucus of Montana, opposed a public option, arguing there was not enough support for it in the overall Senate.
Supporters disagree, arguing a public option will muster enough support once it hits the floor in both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
“The more the American people hear about the public option, the more they like it,” says Democratic Senator Charles Schumer, according to Reuters.
“We're going to keep at this ... until we succeed.”
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