Here’s an interesting little video clip about how the Netherlands’ new health system works.
Until a few years ago, the Dutch had a patchwork healthcare system, like ours, with a mix of public coverage (65%) and privately purchased (35%) coverage. Now, through an individual mandate everyone is in insured by a private insurer, but insurance companies are heavily regulated — required to issue coverage to all, and rewarded (or given extra money) for taking good care of sicker patients.
Employers pay, government pays and citizens pay. Subsidies are available for lower-income residents. Lots of cost and quality control, through transparency, etc. (Sound familiar?). They implemented their reforms in spite of budget constraints.
In 2004, the Netherlands spent 9.2% of GDP on health care, versus the US’ 15.3%.
The conversation to get there, however, took decades, including the implementation of primary and clinical care standards in the 1980s. So I guess all this is to say maybe we’ll get there someday.