Comparison of the Health Care Systems: France and the United States

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Comparison of the Health Care Systems: France and the United States|
Yet in 1948 the United Nations proclaimed that, "everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of oneself and one's family, including food, clothing, housing, and medical care." We should understand that health care should be considered a human right, rather than an economical benefit. However, there are two hundred countries in the World and many of them still lack an adequate health care system.

Throughout the World health, except the U.S., care systems tend to follow general patterns. There are four basic models: Beveridge, Bismarck, the National health insurance, and the out-of-pocket. The Beveridge model named after the founder of British health care system William Beveridge. According to McCanne (2010), the majority of hospitals and clinics are owned by government. In this model the government is a sole payer, which controls the costs of medical expenses. Therefore, there is the tendency for low cost per capita. The second model of health care named after a founder of European welfare Otto von Bismarck. The major principle of this system based on the insurance plans, which financed jointly by employers and employees. Moreover, the insurance plans are non-profit and cover everyone. The government tightly regulates and controls the health system, that allows to keep low medical costs. The third model is a the National health insurance model. It uses private sector of health providers, but payments come from a government based insurance, to which every citizen must pay. The National health insurance controls and keeps low prices for medical services, and tend to be cheaper and simpler administratively. The last and most disorganized health system follows the out-of-pocket model. The major principle of that system based on the money and basically people with money can get the medical assistance, whereas poor get sicker or die.

According to the World health report (2000) released by World Health Organization, France is the country that provides the best health care. The same report states, "The U.S. health system spends a higher portion of its gross domestic product than any other country but ranks 37 out of 191 countries according to its performance." The question is, why equally strong, politically and economically, countries have such significant difference of health care performance?

Certainly, one of the major dissimilarity of the systems is the difference of health care models. The French health system rigorously follows only one, as most of European countries, the Bismarck's model. At first glance it seems to be very similar to the American; both countries widely use an insurance system, where employers and employee are both responsible for an insurance payment. However, in contrast to USA, the biggest fundamental difference between the two systems is that the Bismarck-type health insurance plans have to cover everybody, and they do not make a profit.

Opposite to France, the United States of America does not follow any of the models of health care. American health care system have elements of all of the models. When it comes to treating veterans, it becomes a government owned and controlled system, as Beveridge model. For Medicare dependant Americans and population over the age of 65, our health care system uses the model of National Health Insurance, otherwise known as universal health system, which tends to be cheaper and simpler. The health care system of a working population, who gets insurance through the employer, is more aligned with the Bismarck model. Finally, for those fifteen percent of Americans, who do not have any health care insurance the current system becomes an Out-of-Pocket Model, which is primarily used in Third World countries.

Most of health care industries in the World, in order to be efficient, try to meet only three of the models, but very...
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