In Netherlands, Insurers Compete Over Quality of Care

(Video) By world standards, the Dutch are wealthy and healthy, but the country's changing. With each year, it's home to more Dutch elderly and more young immigrants from the developing world.

The queen opened a parliament once again wrestling over health care, still trying to contain costs after a massive overhaul designed four years ago. Full Story »

Posted by Derek Hawkins
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Derek Hawkins
by Derek Hawkins - Oct. 15, 2009

Fair, well-contextualized look at the health care system in the Netherlands and whether a similar model could work in the United States. Impressive diversity of sources. I come away from this with a better idea of how reform could work in the United States.

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Fabrice Florin
by Fabrice Florin - Oct. 18, 2009

Informative report on how the Netherlands overhauled their health care system four years ago to better serve their public. Ray Suarez traveled to the Netherlands to report on their new program, which requires everyone to buy health insurance and provides universal coverage, by getting private insurance companies to compete on quality of care, rather than price. This in-depth segment features interviews with insurersl like Menzes, whose representative believes this new approach is a more efficient way to provide the best health care to all citizens. Extensive factual evidence is provided, such as the finding that the Dutch spend half as much money as in the U.S., but have the highest customer satisfaction in Europe. The report ... More »

Compare other stories on our Health Care page:

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Kaizar Campwala
by Kaizar Campwala - Oct. 15, 2009

This is an in-depth look at the Dutch model health care model (and how it was reformed in 2006), It is thoroughly reported with interviews with players up and down the system; insurance companies, doctors, and patients.

When is the last time you heard US insurance companies talk about innovation?

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Jim Lang
by Jim Lang - Oct. 9, 2009

Objective story that presents essential overview but is light on detail consistent with the video medium and segment time limit.

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Patricia L'Herrou
by Patricia L'Herrou - Oct. 8, 2009

a very relevant, informative segment from the netherlands using their experts who describe how their recently- reformed system of providing healthcare using private insurers, works to provide better care than our own in some areas and to cost much less. later in the program 2 u.s. sources in health care differ in how much applicability that system offers for this country.

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Julia Willebrand
by Julia Willebrand - Oct. 7, 2009

Well done story. However some comparisons with US circumstances would have helped. Holland has a populations of 15 million the US 20 times that. How would that effect coverage? What kinds of innovation do Dutch insurance companies use to compete. No examples were given.

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Jo Bobenhouse Smith
by Jo Bobenhouse Smith - Oct. 7, 2009

PBS is always quality trustworthy reporting--they didn't disappoint in this health care report on the Netherlands.

The presentation wwas an unlifting experience for me. I'd almost forgotten the end result of our health care reform should stop a lot of our current unrest.

Paraphrased “the goal was to unleash competition between the insurance companies to bring costing down.. .” More »

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Gordon Townsend
by Gordon Townsend - Oct. 7, 2009

It is not only inaccurate but invalid to compare a dense, homogenous population with unifying cultural, nutritional, etc. patterns to a demographically diverse, geographically disparate population. Our population is not even remotely similar. Typical media broad brush brainwashing, you;d see this even clearer if you's been to the Nether;ands as I have - totally different lifestyle orientaion.

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Mark Gould
by Mark Gould - Oct. 8, 2009

It is quality journalism, for a number of reasons. While there are those on both sides of the political fence who are generally against "government-run" news, agencies like PBS and NPR are funded in part by goverment funds, and are largely independent. In a highly charged political climate where media analysts are growingly concerned about commercial media and cable channels spending too much time covering the politics and not informing people of the actual issues, PBS in general, and the News Hour does not have to answer to commercial sponsors whose main interest has become ratings. Without commercial interruption PBS has time on their side and can delegate 9:30 to a story like this and rightly so. On any commercial channel you ... More »

I believe the commercial news media outlets, most of them on television, have lost credibility not just on this issue but in the minds of a growing percentage of United States citizens. The politically inspired and often paid for protests against any change in health care coverage in the U.S. compare European health care models with vague labels, ('socialized medicine, Socialism, Communism." The Netherlands government is a monarchy and the Queen worked with Parliament to overhaul ... More »

“Insurance companies have to compete, consumers can choose which ever company they prefer , or change companies whenever they choose and cannot be refused. No ... More »

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Patricia Berrini
by Patricia Berrini - Oct. 8, 2009

Simply the best, as is the norm for this program.

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Ann Marie Testa
by Ann Marie Testa - Oct. 8, 2009

Great information that has not been covered anywhere else on how the Netherlands handles Health Care and how they control Health insurance. Thorough, easy to understand, good examples of the main issues.

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Philip Kreck
by Philip Kreck - Dec. 11, 2009

Covers an important, timely subject. Provides mostly factual information, while avoiding judgmental/biased/loaded language. Only (minor) criticism: could provide more context for the statistics it quotes. As a story about the Netherlands and its healthcare system, it is fair and informative. And that's how I personally approached the story. The title and a (very) few lines in the piece, however, suggest that this is part of a larger, normative argument about the future of US healthcare. Whether or not this system would work in the US-- in a comparative manner-- would require more information, especially more discussion about how the US and the Netherlands compare/contrast. Arguments based upon analogy, after all, ... More »

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