The Collective Action Problem of National Health Care

Essay by wruz6High School, 11th gradeA+, January 2005

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When societies come together to form governing organizations the goal is to provide a means to deal with public goods. The most basic of these being stability and security for it's masses, but as a nation grows it's governing body's obligation does as well. As the nation's responsibilities grow the problem of collective action a rises. In this paper health care will be the public good in focus, and how the United States, Canada, and Germany each deal with the disbursement of this public good. A critique of each will be done with three approaches to the collective action problem as the guide. These three outlooks are Thomas Hobbes' Leviathan, the anarchistic solution, and the entrepreneurial solution. These will help us review each of the three chosen nations' methods of distributing health care to its citizens and which one works the best. The first country that we will look at is Germany.

Germany has a strong tradition of state funded health care for it's citizens. The health care system of Germany was established 115 years ago on the heels of the industrial revolution of the 19th century. Having the oldest state run health care program, the German system has changed through out the years, yet has been able to adapt to the times. The German system covers 90% of the population, with the other 10% choosing private forms of health care (Tutuncu p.1). This system covers unlimited ambulatory physician care including home visits, unlimited hospital care with minor copayments, maternity care, prescription of drugs with unlimited copayments, medical supplies and devices, preventive care, family planning, rehabilitative services, and periodic "rest cures" at certified health spas. The German plan also includes dental care including routine preventive care, restorative care, periodontal services, dentures and other prostheses and orthodontia, optical services (including glasses),