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by Pearl Hahn 

Misconceptions concerning the United States and its supposedly broken health care system abound, especially the assertion that nations in Europe have superior health care systems because they are more socialist.

As has been indicated repeatedly, government spending dominates America’s $2.5 trillion health care sector, and Medicare and Medicaid account for the majority of health care provided in the nation’s hospitals. The assumption that American health care operates on a completely free market could not be further from the truth.

Switzerland is often cited as a country with a model health care system, enjoying low costs and universal access to care. But Switzerland does not offer any sort of government plan. In fact, all of its health care is provided by private insurers, and there is no rationing of care, either. This is accomplished through cost-sharing with patients- who often share costs at higher levels than in the United States.

The Swiss system shows that health care can be provided to everyone regardless of age and health status while preserving consumer freedom and choice. Perhaps health care reform can take a few cues from Switzerland.