Health care in Europe + and –

This card is the Spanish health care system ID card. The Spanish have a system many Americans want … maybe.  
There is one thing about this card that Americans should have and it is a disgrace we do not. That gold chip contains all the plan information and all the persons medical records.

Here is a little about how the system works. Employers pay 80% of the cost and workers 20%. Families are assigned three doctors, an OB/GYN, a pediatrician and a GP  They are also assigned a hospital. Patients can request a change in doctors for good reason. Prescription drugs are available at between 40% and 60% of the cost.

Health care can have a waiting time of up to three months. If the wait is longer the patient can seek care at other than the assigned providers.

To help pay for all this, there is a 21% sales tax and income tax rates go up to 44% in addition to the shared premiums.

So what’s the point?  The point is would most Americans accept these restrictions and limitations and costs? Politicians throw around “Medicare for all” and universal health care as if we can have an open system and virtually health care on demand as we do now at lower cost simply because it’s government run. That is not true. There are tradeoffs; its that simple.

The question is what kind of delivery system are Americans willing to accept?


Categories: Healthcare

3 replies »

  1. Spain is just one country in Europe. France allows choice of providers and the total health expenditure per person is half of the US cost.


    • And the rest of the story is … Payroll deduction, taxes, waiting times, etc. Everyone I have talked with in a score of European countries like their systems, mainly because they don’t know anything different. The question is, would Americans accept the restrictions and limitations that are part of every government run system? Total expenditures may be less, but what individuals pay for their systems is equal to or more than Americans when you factor in all the taxes.


  2. Apparently the three month wait is due to the Spanish system not hiring the doctors they train and they do not pay them well either. There is a 24% unemployment rate in Spain even among train medical professionals (2012) and there is some concerning emigration for them to find work in other EU countries where they make more money. Spain is fearing they will not return home when the employment picture gets better. It would seem to me if 24% are unemployed than at least 24% of the population does not have health insurance either.


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