Dr. Dirk Göpffarth will be a DAAD/AICGS fellow from March until May 2012. His research compares the approaches in Germany and the United States in achieving accessibility, affordability, and quality of health care through financial arrangements. With the Affordable Care Act, the U.S. is implementing a similar regulatory framework as in the German Statutory Health Insurance system. But both systems struggle to keep their health care systems affordable and, at the same time, achieve high quality in provision. Since there are no easy solutions to this, the potential for learning from best practices is substantial.
Dr. Göpffarth is on leave of absence from his primary position as head of the risk adjustment unit at the German Federal Social Insurance Office (BVA), a position he has held since 2001. He studied politics and economics at the universities of Newcastle-upon-Tyne and Bonn, and he received his degree in economics at the University of Bonn in 1996 and his PhD in public finance at the Berlin University of Technology (TU Berlin) in 2000. Before joining the BVA, Dr. Göpffarth was head of the policy unit at the Ministry of Social Affairs in the state (Land) of Rhineland-Palatinate in Mainz.
Dirk Göpffarth's Archive
Despite dramatic differences in the history of their health care systems, the United States and Germany face similar challenges in improving the quality of care while simultaneously expanding access and making health care more affordable. Although the United States and Germany have issued a series of reforms to contain costs while supporting quality improvements, both countries persistently spend more than average on health care while lagging behind in quality.
Health care policy experts in Germany are discussing a bizarre problem: What to do with €20 billion of accumulated reserves in the Statutory Health Insurance System? Of course, the availability of money creates the usual suggestions. Providers want their share of the cake through higher payments—for example, the chairman of the National… Read more >
The recent Supreme Court hearings on the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) – President Obama’s landmark health reform – received widespread attention on both sides of the Atlantic. For most Europeans, it is incomprehensible why this reform became subject to such legal controversies, but as AICGS Resident Fellow Dirk Göpffarth argues, the legal issues are mostly concerned about the relationship of the federal level and the states – a typical conflict in a federal state.