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Noah Smith

Want a Better Health Care System? Check Out Japan

The country's public-private hybrid gets good results at lower cost.
A better way?

A better way?

Photographer: Daniel Berehulak/Getty Images

Senator Bernie Sanders’s new health care plan, called “Medicare for All,” would eliminate private health insurance and have the government pay for 100 percent of all health services. It's not going to happen, but it does point the way toward a system that could work better: A public-private hybrid akin to what Japan has.

So far, the Sanders plan has encountered considerable skepticism, in both Congress and the media. Though it garnered the endorsement of a number of Democratic senators, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi has withheld her support. Catherine Rampell of the Washington Post writes: