The United States has been struggling with its health care system for decades. Costs continue to spiral upward, while coverage of the population has decreased because of job losses and the resultant loss of health benefits, due to the Great Recession and the subsequent slow economic recovery. President Clinton's attempt to enact a national health care plan failed, and the fate of President Obama's health care plan, under attack since its inception, is uncertain.
Since achieving independence, Singapore undertook the monumental task of transforming itself to a modern, prosperous, secure city-state. Many institutions needed to be erected to reach this goal, but one that stands out and is the subject of this book was the need for a world class health care system. "Affordable Excellence" examines how Singapore succeeded in its efforts, setting up a health system that has become one of the best in the world, delivering high quality care at a fraction of the cost of most First World systems. Ranked 6th globally on performance, Singapore spends less than 4% of GDP on health care (in contrast to the U.S., for example, which spends over 17% of GDP).
How did Singapore do it? What can be learned from its achievement? What lessons can be put to use by the developing, and the most-developed, nations building new health care systems? This book provides answers. It explores the underlying social philosophy and basic approach that Singapore used to set up its system and, at the heart of the Singapore model, its system of health savings accounts and insurance programs that ensure no one would be without the means to buy quality care.