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U.S. Could Learn From Rwanda, Other Nations About Access To Health Care

New York Times: In Health Care, Republicans Could Learn From Rwanda
Eduardo Porter, writer for the New York Times column “Economic Scene”

“…[I]n some dimensions of health care, [Rwanda] gives the United States a run for its money. … Critically, Rwanda may impress upon you an idea that has captured the imagination of policymakers in even the poorest corners of the world: Access to health care might be thought of as a human right. The idea is inspiring countries from Ghana to Thailand and from Mexico to China to develop, within their political and financial limitations, universal health care systems to offer some measure of access to all. … [C]ollectively, these nations offer a few basic lessons that might help you understand how health care in the United States could be improved. One is that it is hard to finance a universal system with voluntary payments. … Another rule of thumb is that it is best to consolidate the health care system into one big risk pool for the entire population … A critical third point is that it will be prohibitively expensive to provide universal health care access without cost controls and mechanisms to pare back unnecessary care…” (7/18).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.