Japanese Pay Less for More Health Care

– Not too long ago, we had Michael Moore’s movie “Sicko“.   In it, we got to see how much better the socialized medicine systems of places like Britain, Canada and France are than what we’ve got here in the U.S.

– Now comes NPR to to regale us with the Japanese system which is run by – corporations. And its health outcomes are far better than ours – at about half the cost we pay. Now that’s a poke in the eye.

– But, don’t look for things to change anytime soon – not while the big corporations have our government largely under their control.

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Japan produces cars, color TVs and computers, but it also produces the world’s healthiest people. It has the longest healthy life expectancy on Earth and spends half as much on health care as the United States.

That long life expectancy is partly due to diet and lifestyle, but the country’s universal health care system plays a key role, too.

Everyone in Japan is required to get a health insurance policy, either at work or through a community-based insurer. The government picks up the tab for those who are too poor.

It’s a model of social insurance that is used in many wealthy countries. But it’s definitely not “socialized medicine.” Eighty percent of Japan’s hospitals are privately owned — more than in the United States — and almost every doctor’s office is a private business.


– research thanks to L.A.

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