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Sick Around the World

One thing that has been notably missing from the health care debate has been a (sane) discussion of health care systems in other nations. You would think that if we are going to reform health care in this country, we might want to look at what has worked in other nations (and avoid things that have not worked). It would also be good to see how other countries managed their transition away from a private system.

Amazingly, someone did this — the PBS show Frontline. They examine the health care systems in Great Britain, Japan, Germany, Taiwan, and Switzerland, and are happy to consider both the strengths and weaknesses of each approach (yes, they are all different).

Go to their website and watch the show.

UPDATE: While you’re at it, read this heartwarming story about health insurance in Canada. Could anyone in the US even hope to have an experience like this?

UPDATE 2: HuffPo has a good article Health Experiences From Around the World that gives information about health insurance in different countries.



  1. starluna wrote:

    I saw this when it first aired. It was really well done. Very fair presentation of the benefits and challenges of these systems.

    Wednesday, July 22, 2009 at 6:52 am | Permalink
  2. Daniel Habtemariam wrote:

    This kind of comparative analysis is exactly what we should be doing in American communities and in Congress right now.

    It’s the only evidence-based way of deciding on something like this; otherwise, all we have is rampant speculation and pseudo-logic being planted in people’s heads as fact by the cowardly and at times downright corrupt mainstream media (read: Fox News).

    Thursday, July 23, 2009 at 10:08 am | Permalink
  3. Karin Granstrom wrote:

    Thanks for the link to Frontline, it was fascinating. As a swede I am as vary of the profit motive in healthcare as americans seem to be of the state being involved in it, but this film showed that there are other options besides a state run single payer system that actually works. I’ll have to consider broadening my views…

    Thursday, July 23, 2009 at 3:54 pm | Permalink