Tuesday, June 29, 2010

America's Health Care Sucks, It's Also Expensive

OMG, America's health care sucks. Based on a recently released study by the Commonwealth Foundation, the United States comes in last or next to last in the following parameters of a high performance health system:

Equity, and
Healthy lives.

The seven countries in the study include the United Kingdom, Germany, the Netherlands, Australia, Canada the United States and New Zealand. The data from the seven countries is compared. It incorporates physicians' and patients' questionnaires, experiences and their ratings of care.

Overall the U.S. ranks last as it did in 2004, 2006 and 2007. The Netherlands ranks first, while the U.K and Australia rank a close second and third. The most notable difference between the other six countries and the U.S. is universal health care. The U.S. does not have it.

Another startling statistic is the fact that despite America's abysmal performance it ranks FIRST in per capita health care costs. Considering the cash inflows, the U.S. should do much better than last place. A reasonable American might ask, "Why do we spend so much and get so little? Where does all of the money go?"

During the recent Obama health care push, universal health systems, such as those in Canada and the U.K, were panned. It would be a good idea for those critics to reevaluate their barbs and recognize that the citizens of both the U.K. and Canada have better health care than Americans and at a lesser cost. Obama, himself, needs to review his actions. A universal system is the only effective way to provide health care for a population group. He ran with a promise, but he came up way short. He settled for less, effectively throwing more money at a bloated, ineffective health care system. His tweaks promulgate a health care system, which will still not afford health care for all Americans.

Americans still chortle that they have the best health care in the world. The Commonwealth study does not support this braggadocio. Before any constructive action can be taken, Americans must acknowledge their system is broken. After that, be clever. Study the systems of the six countries ahead of us and then cheat. Take the best of what they do and then put it into play. Why try to reinvent the wheel?

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