Japanese citizens visit doctors three times more often as Americans, and have longer life spans and lower infant mortality than Americans. How do the Japanese pay for their health care system?

Sick Around the World

Watch “Sick Around the World” (either at http://www.pbs.org/video/frontline-sick-around-the-world/ or at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kfusssJW7TI) and answer the following questions:

  • What does “universal health care” mean? Which countries in the film have universal health care?

 

  • How do the British pay for their National Health Service? What, according to the film, might Americans not like about the British system?

 

  • Japanese citizens visit doctors three times more often as Americans, and have longer life spans and lower infant mortality than Americans. How do the Japanese pay for their health care system?

 

  • In Germany, the rich pay for the poor, the ill are covered by the healthy, health insurance continues with or without employment, and doctors, who are private entrepreneurs, make less money than they did before reform. Why will doctors in Germany accept less money? Should the rich pay for the poor when it comes to health insurance? Why or why not?

 

  • Taiwan designed its health care system in 1995, after looking at health care in 10-15 other countries. What do you think works well in the Taiwanese system?

 

 

 

  • Evaluate the U.S. health care system in comparison to some of the other systems explained in the film. How does the U.S. system compare, in terms of access, cost, and equity? Compare the U.S. on each dimension to at least two other countries. Do you think the U.S. should adopt universal health care? Why or why not?