Panel: The Role of the Government in the Healthcare: A Comparative Approach

Karen Eggleston, Director, Asia Health Policy Program, Shorenstein APARC,Stanford University
Kate Bundorf, Assistant Professor of Health Research and Policy, Stanford University
Teh-Wei Hu, Professor Emeritus of Health Economics, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley

The efficacy of government-provided health care in both China and the United States has been hotly-contested as critics assess the overall strength of health care systems in both countries. In the U.S., the private sector dominates the health care industry, but at the cost of high premiums and a significant percentage of the population being uninsured. Further, the government programs that do exist, such as Medicare and Medicaid, are commonly considered unsustainable.

While some emphasize the importance of a public healthcare option in America in order to provide more people with insurance, many others argue that such an option would undermine the private insurance market. In China, the situation is the opposite, as the government has traditionally been the main health care provider. However, the system is also troubled, as most citizens are, at best, provided with only very basic care, and many have argued that an increased role for the private healthcare sector could help to increase both the efficiency and the overall coverage of Chinese health care. This panel will explain the current roles of the public and private sectors in the health care system, and go on to discuss the following questions: What is the place for each nation’s government in the provision of health care? How can the roles of both the public and private sectors evolve in both nations to improve the efficacy of their respective health care systems? Finally, what lessons can both the American and Chinese governments

Tuesday, April 10, 2012 | 9:00 am — 10:30 am
Kehillah Hall - Taube Hillel House