Home Institution

Cornell University

Publication Date

Fall 2011

Program Name

Switzerland: Global Health and Development Policy


Home to 45 million people without health insurance while still spending 17% of its GDP on health care expenses, the United States has been in need of a massive health care overhaul for quite some time. Some have speculated that the Swiss system may be an ideal model for health care reform, and in fact, many aspects of the newly instated Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) do reflect areas of LAMal, Swiss health care law. This paper evaluates the Swiss and United States health care systems (under ACA), their similarities and differences, and the pros and cons of each system. It concludes that U.S. health care reform is not finished, and, while the Swiss system may not be perfect, it is nevertheless an excellent model for the U.S. Thus, the United States should detach health insurance coverage from employment in order to ensure consistent coverage of the entire U.S. population at all times; the U.S. can then use individualized health care as leverage for justifying compulsory coverage. The United States must re-evaluate its method of financing health care reform, namely by focusing on reducing system waste, and should consider cutting the Medicare program.


Health Policy | Health Services Administration | Medicine and Health | Public Health


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