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How Germany's Universal Health-Care System Works

Germany’s health-care system spends nearly half as much as the United States but still manages to cover 100% of its population through a mix of public and private insurance schemes. There are two different systems that residents can turn to for insurance in Germany: SHI, which stands for Statutory Health Insurance and PHI or Private Health Insurance. Here’s how they work.

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How Germany’s Universal Health-Care System Works


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  1. Americans: But but, free healthcare is socialism!!!

  2. Wow, it's almost like using tax dollars to improve things and preventing private companies from screwing over your citizens has a plethora of positive effects.

  3. Germany: everybody has to have Health Insurance
    USA: everybody has to have Car Insurance

  4. In America it costs $900 to have the Vet look at your dog

  5. Y'all do know we pay for Medicare, right?

  6. This use to be the u.s. system. Insurance companies use to be nonprofit.

  7. We do not need a mafia middleman. Health insurance companies serve NO interest.

  8. USA is not a country is corporation

  9. 8:40 – comparison on cost/efficiency: Italy is second. Yeah of course, because public service is crap, if you choose your doc yourself to escape this, you pay 100% of the cost. In public clinics you still find 6 bed rooms, old/not working infrastructure and patients stocked in the corridors as they have not enough regular beds. Even private clinics (Where you have to pay yourself) are not up to standard compared to Germany or Switzerland

  10. Please correct me if I am wrong but didn't Germany lose both World Wars to the Americans I get full free healthcare, and yet I have never work one day of my life in the country in which I now live in I did work in the States for over 35 years and had lost my little healthcare plan I had! I live in France today and this why I left the States for free healthcare and I have it!

  11. I live in the UK rather than Germany. In the middle of November, one afternoon working in my office on my own, I had a mild ache in my chest. Not really painful – just an ache. I phoned my doctors surgery and within about 20 or 30 seconds of speaking to me, the duty doctor told me she was calling an ambulance. I was taken to the local hospital, then transferred to a regional centre where I was treated to 10 hours of open heart surgery being fitted with a mock-aorta and a stent. The duty doctor had correctly diagnosed a heart attack from my description of my mild pain. After surgery, I was sedated for two weeks and only released shortly before Christmas.

    When I phoned the doctor, I thought I was being a bit of a wimp by bothering about it but had I not done so, I should not be writing this now. Rather, my ashes would be pushing up daisies in the garden of remembrance at the local crematorium.

    I have not been charged one penny for any of the service I have had; ambulance, surgery, medication, hospital accommodation are all covered by our National Health Service (but I have paid taxes for the last 50-odd years). I was told that the commercial cost of my treatment was around £20,000 to £22000 (say $25,000 US). I should have received exactly the same treatment if I had been a tramp or a pauper.

    If anyone from the USA reads this, just think: my 'mild ache' might catch your wife, your son, your daughter. Would you rather they phoned a doctor immediately or do you not mind if they don't because they are worried that it might cost?

    The message is – get yourself a decent public healthcare system and join the rest of the developed part of the planet in the 21st century.

  12. What’s weird is that Americans pay more taxes than Germans do and they don’t have this system

  13. This story is paid for by big pharma, insurance companies, and big banks, cause Medicare for all will take a big bite out of their greedy ass pockets!,,,

  14. Don't believe the people who post here saying how high German taxes are. They are lying and hoping you won't bother to look it up. One example: For a taxable income of €51,900 you pay a 25% rate and that's for someone who's single – and not 42% as stated here. For a family it would be even less. I think that's money well spent considering how nice and safe it is to live in Germany.

  15. 💞Looking for something casual fun :)😋 Snapchat : helenpxl

  16. This is why i like German Cars and would prefer to live there

  17. I am mad 😡 nobody mentioned about Canada’s 🇨🇦 wonderful health care system.

  18. It's disgusting how people say "it's not free. I pay taxes. 🙄" yes we f* do pay taxes but our boss does as well. We are not paying everything. We don't go to hospital and end up with a receipt of 20.000?! Pay your taxes and be thankful that you pay so less for what you get. People don't realize how much health costs if you have to pay everything.

  19. well Germany killed half their population and stole the money…

  20. The U.S.A would rather have a blank check for the Pentagon's killing budget than help the sick. If you don't believe me just follow the money.

  21. 1:05
    That spike you see from every other country to the US, is the private profits insurance companies extract from the system in the US.

    Americans always fight about the intricacies of a hypothetical healthcare system they want to implement. But honestly, the only thing that really matters is that you, as a nation, decide that the healthcare market is not a market where private players are allowed to make a profit.

    You pay twice as much per capita as the average other developed nation, because half of what you pay goes into the pockets of some private entity, while the other half pays for your healthcare.
    Cut the private profits and the system immediately becomes half as expensive and then you can afford to insure everyone.

    And once you did that you can finetune and tweak the system further. You won't come up with the perfect solution right away. Germany has been finetuning its system for over 100 years now.

    The same is also true for education btw.
    Healthcare and education are two things that shouldn't be left to the free market.
    Obviously, you can employ free-market dynamics here and there, but they need to be well considered and regulated in order to not infringe on the goal of offering every citizen the same access to the same quality of education and healthcare, regardless of their financial situation.
    Equality requires and even playing field, and healthcare and education are the least we can do to try to create that even playing field.

    The main problem the US faces is that, in both cases, private intervention in these markets has grown to a volume of many many billion dollars annually. These industries exist now and they have billions of dollars to spend on lobbying to protect their profits.

    So how can you, in a pay2play democracy like the US, enforce change against the will of several billion-dollar industries?

  22. Most people watching this are german.

  23. The German Healthcare System would never work in the USA because of the playing field is so different. The Private Healthcare Insurance Companies are too corrupt to allow them to retain their domination of the sector. Congress would nothing to reduce the profits of these giant corporations or control their charges. You would end up simply with a public option with the young and fit being able to afford Private Healthcare Insurance with everybody else being pushed into the Public Option. We know that a public option will in a few go bankrupt and left too long the country would be bankrupt as well. As I am now living in England I not only understand the British National Health Service (NHS) after working in the NHS both as a Registered Nurse and Lawyer for many years: The NHS is nearest thing to Medicare For All as you will find but it is still not as good as Medicare For All. Medicare For All would mean that we Americans have the best Healthcare System in the world without doubt. The basis of Medicare For All is that rather than paying high premiums, copays, deductables and out of pocket expenses, you spread that cost over your entire working life and where the average middle class premiums is over $14,000 a year, it is replaced with a tax of about $1,200 a year for up to fifty years. What this means is that you are putting money in your healthcare bank so that whenever you need it you can use it but not have any hiogh medical bills because it does away with Premiums, Copays, Deductables and Out Of Pocket Expenses. Here in England I get free Prescriptions, Dental Treatment and Opthalmic Care. In many cases it reduces or zeros the cost of hearing aids but I am not 100% sure how much is charged as I do not need that service, I know my mother-in-law used to get her hearing aids free of charge at the local hospital but if she had to pay a contribution I would not know as we never talked about money.

    By the way I used to get 25 days paid holiday plus ten public holidays in the NHS every year in the UK. I also was eligible to six months sick on full pay plus six months on half pay each year, though I doubt you would last many years if you did take this much each year. However you cannot be sacked for taking sick leave either. In my last nursing post I would today be earning about $90,000 per year if not more but I base that on what the Government have offered me.

    The thing to ask yourself is do I want as good healthcare as a billionaire. Do I want to lose Deductables, Copays, Out Of Pocket Expenses and Premiums for a tax that is less than 10% of my current Premiums and covers everything? If the answer is yes, you must support Medicare For All. If we got Medicare For All I could be tempted to go home, though not to NYC as I still could not afford to live there.

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