June 7, 2011 Leave a comment
The reform is intended to bring about a system of regulated competition in health care. The aim is to introduce competition while upholding fundamental social values, in particular solidarity in health care financing and universal access to health care. Another aim is to enhance consumer choice. Everyone has the right to switch insurance providers by the end of the year.
Is the health insurance reform a success? The answer depends on the perspective taken.
An interesting read with a longer paper on the Dutch reforms also by Hans Maarse here.
My take on what this means for the U.S. is that it shows that if you have a broad political agreement, then you can (inevitably) muddle through on the policy. Some things work better than others, but almost nothing works exactly as planned. There may well be some technical/policy lessons to be learned for the U.S. as far as how to incorporate private insurance into coverage expansions with a goal of increasing competition and choice, but what we most need is a political agreement about how to move ahead. When (if) we ever get that, we can work on the policy.