Medicare supplementary insurance tax is deductible


Kerstin Funk

To person

Dr. phil, born 1971; Political scientist and consultant for health policy at the Liberal Institute of the Friedrich Naumann Foundation for Freedom, Karl-Marx-Straße 2, 14482 Potsdam. [email protected]

The health systems in Switzerland, the Netherlands and the USA can be seen as models for reform in Germany because the problems are very similar.


Health is an important human good. For many, it is more important than economic prosperity or success. Your own health and the health of your family are the most important factors for personal happiness. [1] It therefore stands to reason that maintaining or restoring health is of great importance. Even in ancient times, a real market developed in which health services were offered: in ancient Rome, healers, physicians and bathers worried about the health and well-being of the population, and systematic health care emerged.

Since the end of the 19th century, as a result of the industrial revolution, the organization of health systems has increasingly passed into the realm of the state. The first model of state social insurance was created in Germany in 1883 when Reich Chancellor Otto von Bismarck introduced old-age and disability insurance in addition to accident insurance and standardized health insurance. The popularity of social security among the working class led to the establishment of similar social security systems beyond Germany. Belgium, Norway, Great Britain and Russia soon introduced health insurance. Other states followed the German model after the First World War.

Today there are different models of state-organized health systems, all of which are faced with an immense increase in their expenditure and a reduced income base. The main reasons given for this are demographic change, unemployment, medical and technological progress, the increase in demand for health services as well as a lack of cost transparency and the insured person's lack of personal responsibility.

The following shows the measures selected countries have taken to counter these problems. In order to enable a comparison with the health system in Germany, examples of reforms in industrialized countries are used, namely the reforms in Switzerland, the Netherlands and the USA. On the basis of a balance sheet of these reforms, it can finally be examined to what extent the restructuring of the health systems there can be exemplary for the German health system.