The recent decision by the American Supreme Court to go through with the Affordable Care Act has left many wondering whether or not a national health policy based on government-funded health care is advantageous, or perhaps even unavoidable. The highest quality of health care in the world is available in Switzerland, a nation more often known for its banks and chocolate than its surgeons, due to the system of private and public Swiss health insurance that ever citizen is mandated to buy. Since 1996, the Swiss government has instituted law that says a Swiss citizen must purchase their insurance policy either from the government or from a private firm. This policy began as the old system, in which employers covered the costs of health insurance, kept too many people tied to a job simply to keep their insurance.
Swiss health insurance is not a tax and does not function in the same manner as other European nations with socialized medicine. Swiss citizens are allowed to purchase any quality or quantity of insurance that they desire. Though the price of health care within the mountainous nation is quite high (yet still lower than America’s), few Swiss have voiced concerns about its cost and the majority have said they are very satisfied with their health options.
The American attempt at nationalized health care insurance is different from the Swiss health insurance model in several key ways. While Americans who are aged or poor can be covered by Medicare or Medicaid, no such distinction exists in the Swiss system and no citizens receive free-of-cost government coverage. Few employers, furthermore, cover the cost of insurance. The regulations of the Swiss health insurance system are quite steep, as the organizations are legally barred from making profits and have a standard minimum of benefits that must be met for each customer. Thus, while some pundits advocate the Swiss system, there are major differences in the two nations’ health care coverages.