How US Health Care stacks up Against Others
The World Health Organization ranked health care quality by countries. The USA came in 37th.
The OECD ranked Infant Mortality rates per thousand for 2005: Sweden – 2.4; Japan – 2.8; Norway – 3.1; France -3.6; Germany – 3.9; Switzerland – 4.2; UK – 5.1; Canada – 5.3; Poland – 6.4; United Sates – 6.8.
The OECD ranked Health Expenditure as a Percentage of Gross Domestic Product 2005: USA – 15.3; Switzerland – 11.6; France – 11.1; Germany – 10.7; Canada – 9.8; Sweden – 9.1; UK – 8.3; Japan- 8.0
“How many people go bankrupt because of medical ills? In Britain, zero. In France, zero. In Japan, Germany, the Netherlands, Canada, Switzerland: zero. In the United States, according to a joint study by Harvard Law School and Harvard Medical School, the annual figure is around 700,000.” *
“Here is a statistic to ponder: Among those nine rich nations, the per-capital rate of ‘Deaths Due to Surgical or Medical Mishaps’ was the highest by far in the USA.”*
“The profit-making health insurance giants in the United States generally spend about 20 percent of all premium income on administrative expenses; the French [rated first in the world] insurance plans routinely keep administrative costs below 5 percent.”*
France spends around $3,200 per person for health insurance which was rated the best in the world. The USA spent more than $7,000 per capital, did not cover 45 million, and was rated 37th. “In the U. S. system, even with its built-in inefficiencies, that saving would meet the basic health care needs of all of the American who are currently uninsured.”
What has gone wrong with health care in the U. S. A? In large part obvious reforms have been made difficult by special interest groups who are irrationally enriched by our current system. But since the reforms that are necessary through a capitalistic system as in the case of France are apparent, we must look to the mistaken emotional devotion of a large segment of our population to a broken system.
We need not look further than the public’s blind eye to the causes and the use of the huge profits of our own Lancaster General Hospital to catch a glimpse of the larger national problem. But how dare we question “mother” LGH in which we are borne, birth our children and form which we seek cure for our ills?
Can we rationally consider not-for-profit insurance companies, such is the case in France and elsewhere, or government administration (Medicare / Veterans Administration) such as England and Canada that perform the same administrative functions at a quarter of the administrative costs?
Make no mistake about it: Health Care costs which are approaching 20% of Gross National Product will turn what was once the foremost economy into a ‘rust belt.’ There simply will be no funds available for investment. The world our grand children will live in will not offer the opportunities and pride that did the world of our parents.
*“The healing of America” by T.R. Reid, 2009