Every Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, I trek from my home in Sterling, VA to the Occoquan reservoir to row (sweep rowing - long skinny boats like you see in the Olympics) with the Northern Virginia Rowing Club (NVRC). Normally, I listen to tunes on my Zune, but for some reason yesterday, I decided to listen to Channel 167 (America Left) on XM Radio.
Boy, am I glad I did.
More over the fold.
Yesterday on the Thom Hartman show, Thom was broadcasting from Germany. He was in Germany attending a funeral, and took the opportunity to speak to some Americans who now lived in Germany about their health care. I have to say, for me, that it was eye-opening. Some of the significant things I learned were:
Germany has had public health care for over 100 years.
They have two options for insurance - public and private
All public health insurance companies are non-profit (and heavily regulated)
You can get private insurance that does get you better care, but it is also heavily regulated.
They have a small co-pay which was put into effect because hypo-hypochondriacs were abusing the system.
The insurance companies tend to be grouped by the people they are insuring and the rates differ based on who they are insuring (i.e. insurance for mothers with children more costly than single without). Again, rates and care heavily regulated.
Citizens can switch health care providers.
Unemployed workers continue to receive health care out of the unemployment benefits
Health care is 15% of a person's salary. Employer pays 7% (I believe - not sure of the actual breakdown). Self-employed pay entire 15%.
Cost of healthcare is capped (I forget the amount, but there is a maximum that you'll pay regardless of salary.
Did I mention that the Health care companies were non-profit and highly regulated.
Now, other than the health care company executives that are making millions of dollars, and our "representatives" that are receiving $s from those companies, who could possibly be opposed to such a system? Why do American politicians feel that they have to re-make health care when there are many, good, working examples.
You can subscribe to Thom's blogs for a fee, I'm trying to find a link or a transcript to include in the diary. If I find something, I'll post it.