The Strength and Weaknesses of Health Care Systems in Germany and the United States.

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What makes a health care system "good"? There is no such thing as a

"perfect" system, but already some countries are pretty close. In this essay I

will be writing about two of the leadings countries in health care, Germany and

the United States . Given the complicated nature of the systems, I will narrow it

down to the strength and weaknesses of both countries.

In 1883, the first health care plan for Germany was created.

The government was so impressed that it used this as the model for the nation's

"sickness funds," which finance, deliver, and pay for care. Everyone agreed that

every German should have access to medical services regardless of

employment, income, or ability to pay.The plus side of this plan is that coverage

is universal and benefits include dental care and drugs, as well as cash payments

for eyeglasses, grants for young mothers, and wages while ill. Care is financed

through a payroll tax based income; half paid by employers, half paid by

employees. Individuals are free to purchase private insurance to cover what

is not covered by the plan,and only the very rich are permitted to get out of the

statutory funds and buy private insurance. Once they do so, they can never

again return to the state's funds. The downside to this almost perfect plan

is that getting the medical attention takes longer to receive and when you finally

do get that attention, hospital stays are longer because physicians do all the

follow ups before the patients are allowed to leave. Another problem is that

physicians prescribe almost three time more drugs in Germany than that in the

United States which results in higher drug prices. Also, integration with

East Germany is creating trouble because of the large numbers of new

people entering the system and the need to modernize severely outdated hospitals

and equipment.

Although many would believe that the United States was...
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