Swiss System Offers Hints About US Under Obamacare
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  • I’m not sure I understand. The Swiss system is deemed expensive, but compared to the system we have it appears to be significantly less…somewhere around 35% less than what the US pays now. How is that not lowering the costs of care?

  • C Scott

    Note the profound difference: the Swiss model does not charge young people many times their natural premium to subsidize older people, which sets up intergenerational conflict and is intended to keep the party of government in power so as to pay the vague obligation built up by the young back in their old age. PPACA is intended to succeed again as Social Security did, to be seen as an account you “paid for” which can only be guaranteed by more of the same.

    Note also the simple base model; closer to catastrophic insurance and not prepaid helath plans for coverage of small and regular expenses like birth control and mammograms.

    A Swiss model would be far less objectionable than PPACA.

  • Jim Luebke

    Considering the major problem with our medical system is its unsustainability because of its cost, the “Affordable” Care Act is a tragedy rather than a triumph.

  • What about “bang for the buck” here? What kind of outcomes “quality”/”value” do the Swiss get? Comparing relative nominal per capita costs is rather weak in the larger picture. What is the “externalized” socioeconomic impact of the aggregate clinically subpar U.S. health care system?

  • Below is a link to an interesting analysis of the root causes of defects in the US health care system written by a young Chinese immigrant who lives in France. I don’t think there is anything original in his analysis but he puts it all together very nicely, writing in English, his third language after French and Mandarin. Very impressive:


  • Lorenz Gude

    From the Bloomberg article: “Health spending in Switzerland equaled 11.4 percent of gross domestic product that year, putting it tied for fifth with Canada among the OECD’s 35 nations. The U.S. spent 17.6 percent of GDP.”

    Notice the Hephalump in the house? 17.5%!!! I usually use 16% of GDP out of kindness but I am pretty sure it is more. I know the ACA limits it to 17.5% by 2017 which is the stuff of despair.

  • Douglas Levene

    Let’s look at Hong Kong, too. We just went to a family clinic at a fancy private hospital in Hong Kong – on a Sunday – seeking treatment for a lingering infection. Bottom line: top quality, Western-trained doctors, diagnosis, tests, two prescription medicines, everything, cost=USD $100. We paid out of pocket. Why is it that purely private medicine can deliver first quality medical care in Hong Kong for a fraction of the cost in the US?

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