My Comments: We claim to be a rich and sophisticated country. We agree we have exceptional health care, just that it costs a lot of money. We also like to think our life expectancy reflects our sophistication when it come to health care.
I’ve written before that there are five principal stakeholders in our health care system. I think of them as the hospital industry, the insurance industry, the drug industry, the medical profession and we the consumers.
The first three, with the help of politicians, lobbyists and the legal profession have a strangle hold on the status quo. By that I mean if you don’t have enough money and your health goes bad, you’re at the mercy of the first three mentioned above.
Since our economic model is capitalism and any effort to introduce limits is considered heresy, making changes to benefit all of us consumers is going to be difficult.
Since elections happen every two years, a good start is an attempt to increase everyone’s awareness that we don’t live anywhere near a perfect world, and that changes to the system are long overdue.
Frankly I’m tired of having to explain why in reality we’re last in line when it comes to health care outcomes.
by Tanza Loudenback \ March 7, 2019
Americans pay a lot for healthcare.
Depending on where they live, typical workers shelled out between $4,500 and $8,300 for healthcare in 2017. But the US government pays even more.
According to data from OECD, the US spent $10,209 on healthcare per capita, or per person, in 2017. That’s more than any other country in OECD’s 36-country consortium, and over $2,000 more than Switzerland, the second-highest spending country.
In a review published in March 2018 in the Journal of the American Medical Association, researchers found that the US spent about twice as much on healthcare as other high-income countries, Business Insider’s Lydia Ramsey reported. And yet, higher spending didn’t translate to better outcomes, nor is healthcare used more frequently in the US, she wrote.
“The researchers found that what’s different, as far as US healthcare spending goes, is what the country spends on labor, goods like prescription drugs, and administrative costs,” Ramsey wrote.
The OECD data measured total healthcare costs for 36 countries, which consists of the cost of healthcare goods and services, personal healthcare, and collective services, including administration fees.
Below is a list of the countries that spent more than $3,000 on healthcare per capita in 2017:
- United States — $10,209
- Switzerland — $8,009
- Luxembourg — $6,475
- Norway — $6,351
- Germany — $5,728
- Sweden — $5,511
- Ireland — $5,449
- Austria — $5,440
- Netherlands — $5,386
- Denmark — $5,183
- France — $4,902
- Canada — $4,826
- Belgium — $4,774
- Japan — $4,717
- Iceland — $4,581
- Australia — $4,543
- United Kingdom — $4,246
- Finland — $4,173
- New Zealand — $3,683
- Italy — $3,542
- Spain — $3,371