German vs Us Healthcare Systems: a Comparison

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German & U.S. Healthcare Systems: A Comparison

German & U.S. Healthcare Systems: A Comparison
Mention European health care to an American, and it probably conjures up a negative stereotype — high taxes, long waiting lines, rationed care. It's not that way in Germany. Very little tax money goes into the system. The lion's share comes, as in America, from premiums paid by workers and employers to insurance companies. German health benefits are very generous. And there's usually little or no wait to get elective surgery or diagnostic tests, such as MRIs. It's one of the world's best health care systems, visible in little ways that most Germans take for granted (Knox, 2008, para. 1).
The country's heath care system dates to 1883 — only a dozen years after Otto von Bismarck melded a disparate collection of kingdoms and duchies into the German Empire. The "Iron Chancellor," as Bismarck was known, persuaded the country's parliament to enact a national system of health insurance based on the guilds' sickness funds (Knox, 2008, para. 7).
The 1883 health insurance law did not address the relationship between sickness funds and doctors. The funds had full authority to determine which doctors became participating doctors and to set the rules and conditions under which they did so. These rules and conditions were laid down in individual contracts. Doctors, who had grown increasingly dissatisfied with these contracts and their limited access to the practice of medicine with the sickness funds, mobilized and founded a professional association in 1900 and even went on strike several times. In 1913 doctors and sickness funds established a system of collective bargaining to determine the distribution of licenses and doctors' remuneration. This approach is still practiced, although the system has undergone many modifications since 1913 (Gordeeva, 2012, para. 3).
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