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Letters
May 18, 2005

Holes in the Swiss Health Care System

Author Affiliations
 

Letters Section Editor: Robert M. Golub, MD, Senior Editor.

JAMA. 2005;293(19):2337-2341. doi:10.1001/jama.293.19.2338-b

To the Editor: We believe that the Special Communication by Drs Herzlinger and Parsa-Parsi1 illustrates some misconceptions about the Swiss health care system.

First, we do not agree with the assertion that health care costs are controlled in Switzerland. Health care expenditures continue to rise2 and Switzerland ranks second after the United States in terms of health expenditure per capita. Second, basic coverage is strictly regulated by the federal Health Insurance Law and is identical for all health insurance plans, making real “experimentation in insurance policies’ coverage, benefits, and terms” impossible. The choices for Swiss residents are limited to higher deductibles, bonus plans, or managed care schemes.

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