Will the Obama administration finally usher in national health insurance? We need to bridge the health gap between the rich and the poor?but when it comes to insurance, we ALL feel poor! A new study shows us that we may not get the insurance we all hope for.

A study involving health care systems in 21 countries?and the prospects for change in response to such common pressures as rising costs and aging populations?casts doubt on this kind of major overhaul because of our history and traditions.

Sociologist Bernice Pescosolido says, “Our findings explain, to the dismay of many who would like to see more radical change in the US, why President-elect Obama’s campaign proposal regarding health care reform was pretty much a center proposal, compared to Sen. McCain’s to the right. Why didn’t Obama’s go farther toward considering a state model? In normal times, societies can only tolerate systems that match their understanding of what a health care system should look like. It showed an understanding of the tolerance for change.”

The study, by an international team of medical and political sociologists including Pescosolido, found that the health care systems in the 21 countries shared similar pressures for change, but any change likely would be incremental and unique to that country and its people. Thus, it is unlikely that wholesale change would occur or that health care systems around the world will eventually evolve to reflect one common approach.

“One of the arguments you hear about health care reform tends to be, ‘Why can’t we be more like this or that country?'” Pescosolido says. “This study suggests there are real cultural limits to the kinds of policies that can be proposed, because people are attached to the history of their own system.

“People are socialized into a contract that is essentially established between the state and the citizens of this country, and they come to believe that this is the best way to do it. Even though there are similar pressures on health care systems around the world, politicians really have to deal with public pressure, which is local, and this is going to produce different pathways to health care reform in other countries.”

Art credit: freeimages.co.uk

Here at unknowncountry.com, we like to think we can do things DIFFERENTLY in the future?that we can all change?something we all need to remember during this holiday season.

NOTE: This news story, previously published on our old site, will have any links removed.

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