Thursday, August 13, 2009

Health Care - Part 1-3 Controlling the cost of health care while ensuring adequate standards

3) Controlling the cost of health care while ensuring adequate standards.
This is a technical topic so I’m not going to go into it in any great depth here. I’ll cover that in later arguments on specific areas. For the moment, suffice it to say that our current system accomplishes neither of these tasks. That’s not to say that there aren’t bright spots in the health care landscape. A small number of HMOs and the medicare system seem to have a decent record in this area. I’ll trot out figures to back that up later. Here I just want to state for the record what has been said so many times before: the US has the most expensive health care system in the world! Does this bother you? It wouldn’t necessarily bother me. Hell, we’re also, still, the richest country on the world. So, what’s the problem? Well, the problem is that this is actually a compound sentence. The second part of this statement is: “The US enjoys among the poorest health care outcomes in the OECD.”

Here’s a little taste of international studies on the subject, courtesy of Wikipedia:

“The World Health Organization (WHO), in 2000, ranked the U.S. health care system as the highest in cost, first in responsiveness, 37th in overall performance, and 72nd by overall level of health (among 191 member nations included in the study).[11][12] A 2008 report by the Commonwealth Fund ranked the United States last in the quality of health care among the 19 compared countries.[13] The U.S. has a higher infant mortality rate than all other developed countries.[nb 1][14] According to the Institute of Medicine of the National Academy of Sciences, the United States is the “only wealthy, industrialized nation that does not ensure that all citizens have coverage” (i.e. some kind of assurance).[15][16]”

For the original article, look here:

No one questions that costs are too high and health professionals are also agreed that the provision of health care is skewed as well.

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