Sick Around the World

Student Handout


Viewing Questions


  • Why do you think Sick Around the World ends with the example of Switzerland? What do the Swiss have in common with Americans?
  • How was health care insurance provided in Switzerland in 1994 before reform?
    • What was the margin of victory for the new plan, LAMal, in 1994?
    • Is the support level for LAMal higher now? Why or why not?
  • What health care can people covered by the Swiss system take for granted?
    • Can insurance companies in Switzerland deny coverage to the old, the sick or the poor?
    • If people are unable to pay the $750 monthly family premium, who pays it?
  • If insurance companies in Switzerland cannot profit on basic care, how can they make a profit?
  • What is the main challenge Swiss insurance companies face today?
  • The administration costs for health insurance in the United States are 22% of total amount spent on health care. What is the comparable percentage at one insuranc company in Switzerland?
  • Pascal Couchepin, the conservative president of the Swiss Federation, concludes that a 100 percent free-market system (the model in the United States) cannot work for health care because it means "losing solidarity and equal access," which he calls "a basic value of living in [Swiss] society." Do you think Americans see "solidarity and equal access" as basic values? Why or why not?
  • "Everyone has the right to health care," asserts Pascal Couchepin, the president of the Swiss Federation. Do you agree?
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