The U.S. can definitely learn from other countries’ health insurance systems

I can understand why Pres. Obama is striking at detractors over health insurance reform in the U.S. In his speech before Congress, which was marred by unstatesmanlike and disrespectful shouts of “You lie!” from a Republican senator, he mentioned that every American must have access to affordable health care and government has failed to do so for many decades.

In fact, a recent survey by the American government confirms that around 46 million Americans (about 15% of the population) have no form of insurance and close to half will have lost coverage within the next 10 years. While the health of most Americans are indeed covered by health insurance provided by their companies, tens of millions do not have them and many more risk losing their coverage if they get laid off or resign from work. Pres. Obama in his speech said: “There are now more than 30 million American citizens who cannot get coverage. In just a two-year period, one in every three Americans goes without health care coverage at some point. And every day, 14,000 Americans lose their coverage.”

These figures look alarming and I support the idea that government must step in and not just leave health insurance plans completely to the insurance companies. The Lehman Shock in 2008, which mothballed into the global financial crisis, precisely is the reason why markets should not be made totally free because they are largely profit-driven. For services like health insurance, government must apply meaningful market regulation. And in this regard, the U.K.’s National Health Service and Japan’s national health insurance system, as a form of universal health care for all its citizens, should probably be studied more by health experts in the U.S. to work out the details of Obama’s proposed health care reform.

More reading:
"Obama woos Congress on health care," http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/americas/8247661.stm