The US health care and the reform

Akira Babazono, Toshihide Tsuda, Yoshio Mino

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Securing access to medical services, controlling costs and improving quality are goals of health care system. Although they are all the same all over the country, each country has its own culture, health care system and health care problems. In the United States, employer-based and individual purchases of private health insurance coverage play a major role, although governmental programs such as Medicaid and Medicare exist for the poor and the elderly. Private health insurance had traditionally secured patients' freedom of choice of health care providers and physicians' professional freedom and had paid providers on a fee-for-service basis. Now, the U.S. has 40 million uninsured persons who do not have access to medical services, although it spends as much as its 14% of GNP on health care. In the early 1990s, this became a major political problem. President Clinton proposed the 'Health Security Act' which would enable any American to have access to comprehensive health care with managed competition to activate the health care market, but it was not enacted. Nevertheless, it is clear that managed care and managed competition will dominate and that traditional free-for- service plan will be eroded in the health care market. Japan has a universal health care system. We do not have any uninsured or high medical costs. However, it is difficult to improve the quality of health care services within the present system. Japan can learn the system about disclosure of health care information from the managed care in the U.S.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)666-676
Number of pages11
JournalJapanese Journal of Hygiene
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Oct 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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