From the previous post, one is led to ask what exactly are we getting when we spend so much? Interestingly, the German model, or the Bismarck model, is discussed in Reid's book and is said to be a model of a well run health care plan. What I find interesting about this is the distinction between medical education in Germany and the US. Much of the cost of our health care "system", has to include the economics of training future physicians and what part this plays in the overall cost of health care. In Germany, physician training is comprised of apprenticeships, in a type of journey-man system. Foreign student-physicians follow a practicing physician to learn as much as possible from observation. In the U.S. we take for granted the extensive and rigorous training of our physicians as compared to the rest of the world.
This leads to the recent NY Times op/ed piece published on October 11 titled "The Stressed German Model". Timely in it's appearance and in rebuttal to Reid's conclusions from his book "The Healing of America", the German system is reportedly starting to come apart at the financial seams. According to this piece, this week they informed their government that the German system was on the brink of a financial shortfall equal to nearly $11 billion.