Cost cutting in the United States : health care policy lessons from Switzerland

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dc.contributor.advisor Reagan, Daniel J. Hansen, Shelly 2012-12-28T16:05:00Z 2012-12-28T16:05:00Z 2012-12-15 2012-12-15
dc.description.abstract Faced with mounting health care costs, the United States needs to learn more cost-cutting options. The U.S. ranks at the top of lists on health care spending by country.1 The factors that drive American spending are complicated, and experts disagree with each other about which ones are most responsible for the country’s high medical costs; some commonly cited cost drivers include Medicaid, Medicare, fee-for-service and malpractice law. There are currently a number of methods employed by the government, hospitals, and insurance companies to keep costs down, including the increased use of Licensed Practical Nurses and Physicians Assistants, acute care and cost shifting,and Health Maintenance Organizations. In order to learn more about ways to save money on health care, the United States should look to other countries for examples. Switzerland enacted universal health care in 1994; in the nearly twenty years since, the government and insurance companies have instituted measures to control spending. These are practices and policies such as, blue letters of warning for seemingly frivolous doctors, no special insurance program or extra coverage for the elderly, and increased competition. Switzerland spends less on health care each year than the United States and yet has a higher life expectancy. 2 Furthermore, Switzerland celebrates twenty years of universal health care in the same year the individual mandate takes effect in the United States, 2014. Now is a timely moment to see if studying Switzerland’s health care system illuminates the options to American policymakers. Drawing information from scholarly articles, web articles, and website data, I will begin with a literature review section that underscores why a comparison between the Swiss and American health care systems can deepen our understanding of the policy options facing contemporary U.S. policymakers. I will then compare and contrast some specific features of the two health care systems. I will conclude by reflecting on whether and how lessons learned from Switzerland's health care policy can guide the American health care debate.
dc.description.sponsorship Department of Political Science
dc.subject.lcsh Medical care -- United States -- Cost control.
dc.subject.lcsh Medical care -- United States.
dc.subject.lcsh Medical care -- Switzerland.
dc.title Cost cutting in the United States : health care policy lessons from Switzerland en_US Thesis (M.A.)

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  • Master's Theses [5510]
    Master's theses submitted to the Graduate School by Ball State University master's degree candidates in partial fulfillment of degree requirements.

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