Get a lumbar magnetic resonance image (MRI) for less than $100?
Is that possible?
In Japan, it is.
If the United States imports this feature of Japan's model in these changing health care times what implication does that hold for physical therapy?
$25 visits in outpatient physical therapy clinics?
Japan's system is called social insurance.
Japan is the world's second richest economy and, arguably, one of its most capitalistic.
Some other features of the Japanese system include the following:
- everyone is covered (rich people cannot 'opt-out').
- most care (80%) is provided by private doctors (not 'socialized medicine' like in Canada and England).
- no gatekeeper (you can see an allergist or orthopedic surgeon on your own).
- costs half as much as in the USA
- 8% of GDP in Japan
- 16% of GDP in the USA
- Japanese people visit their doctor 3x as often as Americans do for simple procedures like blood pressure checks.
- insurance companies are non-profit and aren't allowed to 'cherry pick' - if you have a history of cancer they still have to insure you.
- zero medical bankruptcies.
- $280 per month health insurance premiums - and the employer pays half of that!
What do you think?