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Mon Dec 3, 2018, 10:27 AM

Fun Fact: Obamacare had its 135th birthday this year in Germany.

Who founded the world's first public health-insurance-system? A prussian general and anti-democratic, conservative, socialist-hating monarchist.

In 1883, Chancellor Otto von Bismarck founded the world's first public health-insurance system. He did so for entirely selfish reasons: To prevent the lower ranges of society from falling into health-related financial ruin and thereby to prevent social unrest and to deny the growing social-democratic movement a political line of attack.

The law said that all workers making less than a predetermined salary and all public employees must have a health-insurance. That's the law. Everybody must have health-insurance. The costs of the premiums were shared by the employees, the employers and government-subsidies.

That system is basically still in place nowadays in Germany.

In Germany, one does not go without health-insurance. You can't get a job without health-insurance. If you are unemployed and can't afford health-insurance, the government will sign you up for the cheapest-possible health-insurance plan and they will pay for it.

Germany has a dual system:

* There are "gesetzliche Krankenkassen" (legal health-insurance agencies). They are a network of tightly regulated non-profits, operating on a State-by-State level. (If you move to a different State, they simply move your account to the new branch-office and everything just goes on as usual.)
They offer cheap plans that cover all of your needs unless you get some really weird/rare/expensive healthcare-problems. Glasses, basic medication, basic dental, minor surgeries... it's good enough to get by.
These plans are about 10 pages long.
Most Germans have one of these because you get signed up automatically and it's the cheapest option.
They DO NOT discriminate for pre-existing conditions. They cannot.

* The other side are the for-profit health-insurance corporations. Their plans are expensive, but they cover ANY healthcare-problem you could ever possibly have and their plans will guarantee you the best-possible treatment.
These healthcare-plans are about 100 pages of detailed fineprint what is covered to which extent.
Typically, only people of upper middle-class and higher have these. As the pool of potential customers is small, because of the high costs, there's a strong competition between the health-insurance corporations to get new customers and to keep their well-paying customers happy.
These DO discriminate for pre-existing conditions.

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Reply Fun Fact: Obamacare had its 135th birthday this year in Germany. (Original post)
DetlefK Dec 3 OP
bobbieinok Dec 3 #1
Aristus Dec 3 #2

Response to DetlefK (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2018, 10:30 AM

1. Had 'fun' as a teacher of German pointing this out to conservative college students in 90s!!

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Response to DetlefK (Original post)

Mon Dec 3, 2018, 10:34 AM

2. "Well, y'know, them Gnat-sees had gubmint healthcare!"

I still hear that one from the brainless, thundering herds of rightwing blockheads occasionally.

Nationa Health insurance pre-dates the Nazis by around forty years, and was instituted by a political conservative, Bismark. The German imperial monarchy supported it, and it carried through to the democratic Weimar Republic. Saying the Nazis had national health insurance is like saying the Nazis had cars or electric lights.

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