Health Care and Insurance Schemes and Health Outcomes: A Global Comparative Analysis
21 Pages Posted: 27 Mar 2011 Last revised: 3 Apr 2011
Date Written: January 18, 2011
One of the largest and most urgent problems facing countries today - especially the United States - is health care. With an aging population and seemingly hard limits on resources such as doctors, organs, and medicine, each nation must attempt to distribute the available resources in a fair and efficient way without breaking the bank and, ideally, without selling out the health of its population. Nations’ attempts at creating workable health care systems result in regulatory and insurance schemes that vary widely across the globe, as countries form policies based on national values, institutions, and interests.
Differing health outcomes among nations suggest that all health care delivery and insurance mechanisms are not equal. Some nations rely almost exclusively on the private sector for insurance and health care services, while others place health care and insurance squarely under government control, with wildly divergent results. This paper looks at the health systems in twenty-four countries, groups them according to common attributes in their health insurance and health care delivery regimes, and quantitatively compares the health outcomes achieved by those systems in order to answer the question: which health care delivery and insurance systems work best?
Keywords: health, health care, insurance, PPACA, life expectancy, public, private, gate-keeping, gatekeeping
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