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As -- debate on Health Care Reform rages on in Washington look beyond our borders and -- government run health care.
Has war and where it has here with more -- doctor John wrote former chairman and CEO of patina.
And a professor now at Columbia -- -- -- -- to be back when -- Probably speaking -- did what we need to answer as a nation what do we want out of Health Care Reform do we want more people covered.
-- lower cost which could mean.
A rationing of care poor quality of care which is at least what we've seen in some instances in overseas.
Well I think that's really important question what would be an American style national health.
Plan that people would accept.
And much of what the American people know about national health care they know from the United Kingdom.
And they're very concerned about what they've heard.
But if you look at the facts across all Western Europe and the countries -- -- a lot from one country to another.
There are some clear pros and it's -- cons.
Are that it clearly reduces cost as you -- that's one of the goals we spent 15% of our GDP on health care.
European countries spend nine to eleven and it clearly covers more people we have 47 million uninsured that's -- national embarrassment.
-- But it's not so bad and it's not just prevention that's good.
In fact a five year survival kidney transplant patients is veterans come European countries and United States.
And nobody goes broke because of health care costs but the -- Get to what you were talking about what would we tolerate.
The concerns are best choice.
And -- long waiting lists hundreds of thousands waiting to get to a hospital in Britain by some estimates put some elective procedures.
Not a long -- some elective procedures.
And and that concern that doctors would lose your independence.
If you look across Europe.
You find that there's some countries like the United Kingdom the doctors worked for the government some countries like Germany and -- Some countries even have systems -- health insurance companies private for profit health insurance companies are operating the system the Swiss and the Dutch.
Let's talk about the -- because I've been lists are always the answer no.
I doubt because that business is similar because I've always thought about our health -- health insurance system like this.
Why would make it like car insurance that you have to get it that there is a mandate and the government.
Has a large role in setting rules.
But not in actual spending where -- already spent more than Switzerland doesn't -- when you have an individual mandate.
And the very market based system if you will it is would that be a wave for us to now.
It would be a way for us ago I think an individual mandate is a centerpiece.
Of any approach because otherwise only port only sick people who know they need health care I'm going to go into a government system.
And it will go -- immediately unless -- subsidized dramatically by the US treasury which President Obama has said he doesn't want to do.
But the problem when comparing the United States and Switzerland with -- -- precious little country we all like to visit is they don't have the numbers of poor people that we have.
And they have a much more homogeneous population.
And they also have a culture where the mandate means a -- -- they abide by and we'd.
As -- they should have little trouble with that even with car insurance so.
I did it -- -- -- for cultural well.
The cultural difference for me as I look at European countries in the United States and particularly true in Germany.
Is that the cultural element in these Western European countries in solidarity.
They all feel very in it together health care's a right it is not a privilege in the United States we have not answered that.
Question we have not one interesting thing though about Switzerland as a percentage of the economy their health care spending is.
Double digits it's more than 11% -- of a bit 15%.
So to that point eight.
It's -- a lot on health care is that necessarily a bad thing if it's where rich nation.
And we choose to spend that money on health care is just like we -- used to.
For the bad comparison bit eat well and and go to amusement parks that's the choice.
I think the real issue is not so much that -- at 15%.
But that there's a two and a half percent.
Difference between health care inflation and the general economy so that 15% is going up and up and up.
There's going to be a point at which -- -- horrible -- -- to GDP grows enough.
Then we have discretionary.
Income and we can afford this but that doesn't go.
For every -- also.
We'll spend -- maybe we can see the bills and that's the and the -- likely on the individual.
John it was great to have you been here thank you Sam wanted to be with it.
Doctor John Breaux former Aetna chairman CEO and now a professor.
At Columbia University -- we'll have a great week up.
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