Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Could the US Learn from the Australian Healthcare System?

The Aussies seem to have a rather brilliant universal healthcare system based upon a few rather simple ideas.

There is a 1.5% flat tax on everyone’s taxable income for healthcare.

Individuals earning (in Australian dollars) over $50,000 per year ($100,000 for couples) are strongly encouraged to purchase private hospital coverage: if they do so they get a 30% premium rebate, but if they don’t they have to pay an additional 1% income tax.

Private health insurance in Australia costs a family between US $539 and US $1,078 per year.

Those who purchase private hospital coverage can lock in low rates for life by purchasing while they are young (this discourages people from waiting until they are old to purchase hospital coverage). Charges go up by 2% each year after the age of 31.

More here, here, and here.

1 comment:

Princess Haiku said...

The US could learn from any other modernist country I fear. Your system is so sane it brings tears to my eyes. The US is controlled by corporate interests. It's major industrial cities are in ruins and 47 million people have no health insurance at all.

Having said that I did stop by on a lighter note, to wish you a happy Solstice. I have enjoyed the humor and diverse topic range you post on your blog.