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The US Health System: An Assessment and Prospective Directions for Reform

Listed author(s):
  • Elizabeth Docteur
  • Hannes Suppanz
  • Jaejoon Woo

This paper assesses the performance of the United States health system in an international context and discusses potential directions for reform. The US health system is unique among OECD countries in its heavy reliance on the private sector for both financing and delivery of health care. The public sector plays a not-insignificant role, providing coverage for the elderly, disabled and poor, and spending as much on health as a share of GDP as is spent in total by many OECD countries. The system is considered highly flexible, capable of evolving quickly to address the changing preferences of consumers and the incentives put in place by the requirements of payers and government regulation. It is also characterised by excellent access by the insured population to the latest advances in medical technology. However, 14 per cent of Americans lack insurance coverage, and the decentralised, multi-payer approach to financing and regulation provides relatively few levers to control ... Le système de santé des États-Unis : Evaluation et lignes directrices possibles pour une réforme Ce document évalue les performances du système de santé des États-Unis dans un contexte international et examine les directions potentielles pour une réforme. Le système de santé des États-Unis est sans équivalent dans la zone de l’OCDE, en ce sens qu’il dépend essentiellement du secteur privé à la fois pour le financement et la fourniture des soins de santé. Le secteur public joue un rôle non négligeable en procurant une couverture pour les personnes âgées, les handicapés et les pauvres et consacre autant pour la santé en part de PIB que ce que consacrent beaucoup de pays de la zone de l’OCDE pour l’ensemble des dépenses de santé. Le système est reconnu très souple, capable d’évoluer rapidement pour répondre aux changements dans les attentes des consommateurs, aux incitations mises en place par les exigences des payeurs et à la réglementation publique. Il est aussi caractérisé par un excellent accès aux dernières avancées technologiques en matière médicale pour la population ...

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Paper provided by OECD Publishing in its series OECD Economics Department Working Papers with number 350.

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Date of creation: 27 Feb 2003
Handle: RePEc:oec:ecoaaa:350-en
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