The results of an exploratory five-nation survey of 2,239 adults interviewed on the telephone indicate general satisfaction with the health care system and less satisfaction with common welfare. In particular German respondents reported minor problems in their experiences with doctors with regard to communication and timing. Concerning health policy, French and Spanish respondents favoured more interventionist medicine, while Germans in particular preferred medicine as care. The public responsibility for care and the shifting of responsibility for future financial needs to employers and the public reveal a tendency that has been called corrupt. Overall, when evaluations and attitudes concerning health care and related policies were controlled for demographic factors, they were not particularly determined by social stratification, which indicates that the health system functions well in providing comprehensive care and securing the identity and integration of society. However, value orientations as a reflection of culture and the respective nationalities are strong determinants of health care systems. National identity confirms at the same time the validity of the comparative approach and the use of multivariate analyses. © 1994, SAGE Publications. All rights reserved.