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Wed Jun 27, 2012, 07:52 PM

Swiss long required to buy health insurance -- without the furor

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/world_now/2012/06/swiss-long-required-to-buy-health-insurance-with-little-furor.html


The linchpin of the healthcare reforms championed by President Obama is the requirement that most Americans buy health insurance, a rule that could be overturned by the Supreme Court.

The Supreme Court ruling, expected Thursday, will decide whether requiring people to buy health insurance is unconstitutional, as critics claim. The rule has been fiercely debated in the United States, but a similar rule requiring people to be insured has long been in place in Switzerland without the furor.

The Swiss government started requiring residents to buy health insurance from competing providers in 1996, as part of a federal law aimed at controlling costs and ensuring equitable coverage. Switzerland feared that under its old system, tied to employers, people were staying with jobs they didn’t want just for the health coverage, holding its economy back.

The Swiss system is seen as the closest analogue internationally to the Affordable Care Act. (snip)

Whereas many countries tax their citizens to ensure that as many people as possible have healthcare, the Swiss system is more like a private market.

(snip)
“The results in Switzerland are just spectacular,” said Regina Herzlinger, professor of business administration at the Harvard Business School. In a recent analysis, she found that healthcare costs there have increased less than in other countries, such as Germany and the United States, when compared to GDP growth.

(snip)
There’s another big difference to note as the Supreme Court prepares to issue its hotly awaited ruling in Washington: Mandating that the Swiss get insurance has not drawn outrage as in the United States. Herzlinger said most Europeans find the American debate “bizarre.” (snip)
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Interesting. Another take on the mandate.

9 replies, 1214 views

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 08:07 PM

1. However, Swiss health insurers are very heavily regulated to keep costs from skyrocketing

as mentioned in your linked article.

Very different than the ACA.

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Response to MannyGoldstein (Reply #1)

Thu Jun 28, 2012, 05:44 PM

5. They also force those companies to act as not-for profit groups.

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Response to Sirveri (Reply #5)

Thu Jun 28, 2012, 08:08 PM

8. and THERE'S the big difference! They can't skim money from the top...unlike here where greed

has to operate...

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 08:14 PM

2. The Swiss government... "prescribes what the policies will cover, sets the price and tells doctors

what they can charge for every medical procedure. Doctors are free to do whatever they feel is called for, order up any test and prescribe any approved medication. But if a doctor's billings exceed the regional median by too much, he or she will get a "blue letter" -- a bill from the government demanding the return of some of those fees."

http://articles.latimes.com/2009/oct/18/opinion/oe-mcmanus18

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Original post)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 08:19 PM

3. excellent article n/t

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Response to riverwalker (Reply #3)

Wed Jun 27, 2012, 08:27 PM

4. What is your sig line from? It sounds familiar. nt

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Response to Honeycombe8 (Original post)

Thu Jun 28, 2012, 05:58 PM

6. The Swiss don't operate under the U.S. Constitution.

The court voted 7-2 that the mandate was unconstitutional under the Commerce Clause including the vote of one of Obama's appointees, Kagan. That part of the court's decision said the federal government could not force citizens to engage in commerce. So they decided it was a tax and let it stand.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #6)

Thu Jun 28, 2012, 07:57 PM

7. I doubt the mandate was even challenged in Switzerland. And yay! The mandate IS constitutional here.

I am disappointed it doesn't fall under the commerce clause. But it IS constitutional, thank goodness.

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