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Michigan Universal Health Care Access Network

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Austria

Austria is home to 8,131,000 people, slightly less than the number living in the state of Georgia (8,186,453). The infant mortality rate is 4.5 deaths/1,000 live births, better than in the US (6.82/1000). Life expectancy at birth is 74.52 years for men and 80.99 years for women, about the same as in the US. Per capita GDP is $23,400, about 69% of the US's.

Of this, Austria spends 8% ($1872 per capita) on health care, about 43% of what the US spends, with better or comparable results.

The country has universal access to health care through a compulsory system of social insurance. A system of private insurance also exists.

Private doctors with contracts to the social insurance funds are paid on a fee-for-service system with expenditure limits based on the case and per doctor per pay period. Hospital physicians are salaried. Approximately 50% of the health expenditures are funded by progressive payroll taxes, 25% are financed by non-specific taxes, and the rest is funded directly out-of-pocket or through private insurance companies. The contributions to the health insurance funds (payroll taxes) are split between employers and employees on a parity basis.

Patients are free to choose their physicians, as long as the physician has a contract with the insurer. Benefits and prices of services are fixed in agreements between representatives of the insured and representatives of the providers. All medical and nursing education is free.


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