Health is a basic human right. Nevertheless, in 2011 about 40 million people had no health insurance in the United States. European healthcare systems are frequently referenced as examples of well-functioning systems that cost less, cover almost all residents, and produce better health outcomes. I designed a questionnaire to interview patients from a rural primary care practice in Germany, several physicians, and nearby German residents about their attitudes towards their healthcare system. Despite a general sense of content with their system among interviewees, a sizable percentage of patients complained about copayments and lack of coverage (27%) particularly among retirees who have a strong sense of entitlement. Taxpayers complain about the unfairness that they have to shoulder the financial burden (32%) the elderly as well as the unemployed able-bodied. The German healthcare system may not be as idyllic as it is often perceived. It is more egalitarian and comprehensive from a societal perspective but not from an individual-level perspective. Each society will need to find the right balance of personal and societal gains that is acceptable for the majority of citizens.
|Keywords:||Justice in Health Care, Interview study, Social Justice, Healthcare systems|
Student, Department of Philosophy, Boston College, Boston, MA, USA