In this season’s Health System Idol contest, the U.S. loses to most other developed countries. One in three Americans would like to “completely rebuild” the U.S. health system, according to The Harris Poll conducted in ten nations.
 
And another 50% believe that, “fundamental changes are needed to make it work better.”
 
Harris also measured ‘unpopularity’ with another metric: asking whether, “the system works pretty well and only minor changes are necessary.” Adding this yin to the other yang, the mash-up is still the same: the U.S. plays last fiddle to the rest of the world’s health system orchestra.
 
For this Poll, Harris did a sort of mash-up of data from several different surveys: for France, Italy, Spain and Germany, the FT/Harris Poll conducted in June 2008 for the Financial Times; for the U.S. and Great Britain, a Harris Interactive survey for the International Herald Tribune and France 24 in May 2008; and for The Netherlands, Canada, New Zealand and Australia, a Harris Interactive survey conducted for The Commonwealth Fund between March and May 2007.
 
Health Populi’s Hot Points: Whether or not the raw numbers are exact, the magnitude of the opinions are clear: Americans like their system least. Still, developed nations the world over are discussing health reforms. We’re all lost in the health reform sea, borrowing bits and bobs from each other’s health system modi operandi.

While no one’s got it all right, it is worth learning more about the “most popular” Dutch system, which has mandatory health insurance purchased in the private market. You can learn more about the system here in a Commonwealth Fund report on quality in the Netherlands, and here in a nice review of that system and the Swiss system from the International Herald Tribune. “Going Dutch” may come to have a new application in health reform.

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