Lessons on Coverage from Abroad: How Do the Dutch, German and Swiss Health Care Systems Do It?

November 14, 2008

The pre-election debate put health care reform ideas front and center. Now policymakers have to deal with translating theory into action under challenging economic conditions. Why completely reinvent the wheel when there are existing universal coverage systems that may have components the U.S. can learn from? This briefing, cosponsored by The Commonwealth Fund, provided an in-depth look at the very different approaches of Switzerland, Germany and Holland to providing near-universal coverage to their citizens.

How is coverage provided in each system? How successful is each in achieving maximum coverage? What are the roles of private insurance and government in each? What mechanisms are in place, if any, to help each system manage in difficult economic times?

Addressing these and related questions were: Robert Leu of the University of Bern, Switzerland; Reinhard Busse of the Berlin University of Technology, Germany; and Diana Monissen of the Dutch Ministry of Health, Welfare and Sport. On hand for comment and for questions were Thomas Björn Zeltner, the Swiss secretary of state for health; Michael O’Grady of the National Opinion Research Center; and Mark McClellan of the Brookings Institution. Co-moderators were Lisa Swirsky of the Alliance and Robin Osborn of The Commonwealth Fund.


Full Transcript (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Speaker Presentations

Reinhard Busse Presentation (PowerPoint)
Robert Leu Presentation (PowerPoint)
Diana Monissen Presentation (PowerPoint)

Event Details

Speaker Biographies (Adobe Acrobat PDF)

Event Resources