[President Obama's health care reform: lessons to and from the Israeli health care system] Academic Article uri icon

abstract

  • In March 2010 the United States enacted the most significant health care reform in several decades. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, amongst other provisions, addresses two of the main current shortcomings of the U.S. health system: the large portion of the population that are uninsured and the high percentage of hsealth expenditures (mostly private] which amounts to about 16% of the GDP. Changes to the current structure and financing of the U.S. health system will have implications for other health systems, for science (e.g., through enhanced federal funding for comparative effectiveness research), and for technological advance (e.g., through accelerated development and use of electronic health records). There are several lessons from the reform, and the factors leading to its implementation, for the Israeli health system. Firstly, the basic principles of the Israeli health system are a source of pride, and undermining its main values can have deleterious effects. Overreliance on private, out-of-pocket, spending and lack of support for public practice of medicine (in community and hospital settings) will weaken the public sector, strengthen the private sector, and could result in a tiered lower quality and less accessible public system with greater widening of gaps in health and health care utilization. This paper reviews the main provisions of the U.S. health care reform and the potential implications for the IsraeLi health system.

publication date

  • August 1, 2011