A Tool for National Debate.
What would you do if you were in charge of the nation's health care? SimHealth challenges and enables you to design a national health care system based on your ideas and values, then tests it in a dynamic computer simulation. Who gets health insurance? What does it cover? Who pays for it? How do you control costs? How will your plan affect business, physicians, specialists, insurance companies, lawyers, medical research and the average citizen? You make the tough decisions--you live with the consequences.
- Test a number of current health care system proposals.
- Design and enact a national health care system that supports your personal values
- Record your health care policy solutions to share with others
- Challenge and change the model's underlying assumptions
- Receive feedback from patients, doctors, and the voting public
- On-screen help and tours walk you through all the simulation's features and functions and provide all the background information you need to take on this challenge.
~ advertising blurb
With all of the many Maxis Sim games out there (and there are way more than just SimCity and The Sims) one of the most curious is SimHealth. Developed in 1994 with the help of The Markle Foundation, a non-profit think tank the proposes the betterment of civilian life in the US, the story behind its release and reason for being is just as curious as the game itself.
From what I can gather, SimHealth didn't get much of a release at all. The reason for its conception was to convince politicians to put healthcare reform at the top of their agenda. An early build was sent to many congressmen all over the country in 1993 when it was a hot-button topic in the Clinton administration. A year later, it was available to the general public by mail order only, sealing its obscure status even with a brand as big as the Sim series backing it.
There are a few differences between the two, including better (though inconsequential) graphics in the former release and a preliminary subtitle reading 'A Democracy and Society Computer Simulation'. We'll be focusing on the latter release, which aims to be more accessible to the average consumer (though not so accessible to warrant a wide release).
SimHealth is an almost impenetrable deep dive into the intricacies of the health care system in the US. There isn't really much of a goal and no winning scenario, just a couple of stats that can be tweaked to see it life or business gets any better. It is an ominous 'what if?' machine that plays with peoples lives, and as such it is still prescient to this day.
I don't know how accurate the simulation is, and the subject is heady enough already without the added speculation. I am nevertheless a little concerned that politicians may have based some of their policies or stances on this fallible 6-megabytes worth of code. While I wouldn't say SimHealth is much of a game, it is an interesting museum piece of a politically-divisive time that seems quaint by today's standards.
To download the game, follow the link below. This custom installer exclusive to The Collection Chamber uses DOSBox to bring the game to modern systems. Tested on Windows 10.
File Size: 4.14 Mb. Install Size: 10.7 Mb. Need help? Consult the Collection Chamber FAQ
SimHealth: The National Health Care Simulation is © Thinking Tools, Inc
Review, Cover Design and Installer created by me