The Health Care Systems of Canada, England and Germany

03/04/10 Robert Lorei
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Good afternoon, I'm Rob Lorei coming up today we’ll hear about three different health care systems in other industrialized nations. As the US Congress moves toward possible passage of health care reform-- the latest news from Washington is:

House Democratic leaders are pushing for a final vote on health care reform in the next three weeks, aiming to answer President Barack Obama's call for swift action. House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer says Democrats would like to get the bill done by Congress' Easter break--- which is in four weeks. The Democratic leadership is contending with numerous undecided or reluctant rank-and-file members who want to see final legislative language before making a decision.


WASHINGTON (AP) - Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius is telling top insurance companies that their double-digit premium increases are one reason President Barack Obama's healthcare overhaul must become law.

She gathered state insurance commissioners and representatives from Aetna, Cigna, UnitedHealth Group and other insurers in the White House's Roosevelt Room to debate ways to deal with jaw-dropping premium increases. Anthem Blue Cross, for one, plans to boost individual insurance premiums in California by as much as 39 percent.

Sebelius says she's heard from many Americans and "they're terrified they're next." She says the government is eager to discuss what's happening in the marketplace and find solutions to ensure people can get affordable health coverage.

Neither the House nor Senate bill in Washington go as far as other developed nations do. In fact, the US spends about seven thousand dollars per year per capita on health care. That’s while as many as 50 million Americans go without health insurance. Other countries cover 100 % or nearly 100% of their citizens- while spending less per citizen than does the US. The nearest competitor is Morway- which spends about $4,000 per capita.

We’re going to discuss the health care systems in Great Britain, Germany and Canada with three citizens of those countries. Gene Costain is a volunteer here at WMNF, a professor, and a citizen of Canada. Christoph Ferner is a German citizen living in Munich and Graham Howard is a British citizen living in Boca Raton.

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American for reform...

Hello Rob: First I want to thank you for keeping this issue on the front burner. Nothing has been so crucial for Americans since the New Deal. I just want to say that Americans have bought medical goods from Canada; in fact, that's how thousands of seniors were able to afford medication. Remember when people without prescription insurance were buying from Canada? I do; I was one of them. Canada's prices were far more reasonable. Buying from Canada pharmacies is what spurred the Bush Administration finally to come up with a prescription drug plan, which sadly has done little but give largess to the drug and insurance companies because there is no public option. We need health care reform -- badly. And we need a public option otherwise look at what will happen: it will be a giveaway to the insurance industry.

Foriegn health technology

Brimstone S. Tampa It's a mistake to think the U.S. has a monopoly on health science advances. True story: A few years back I was in Iraq and a friend of mine was shot in the chest. I was responsible for tracking his evacuation to Landstuhle, Germany. This is the main U.S. military hospital overseas and has the best, most advanced war wound treatments available to Americans. My friend developed lung complications and the American doctors did all they could for him, but he was quickly dying. At Landstuhle there was a liason with the German health system. The liason was able to get him transfered to a German hospital where there was a new, cutting edge "lung bypass machine" recently developed by the Germans and available only in their hospitals. Without this German technology he would likely have died.