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America's Huge Health Care Costs

Americans and Europeans spend the same share of GDP on health care and education. "Properly measured, Mars and Venus spend the same share of income on these tasks," concludes Jacob Funk Kirkegaard from the Peterson Institute for International Economics: "The only meaningful difference between US and European expenditure levels is in private-sector healthcare spending, where the US private sector spends about three times more on healthcare than its European private-sector counterparts." (Read a summary of his paper on

Do Americans get better health care, given that their GDP is bigger than Europe's? Nope, in 2006, the "US performed poorly -placing last, in fact - among the six countries surveyed on six key domains of healthcare: Patient Safety, Effectiveness, Patient-Centeredness, Timeliness, Efficiency and Equity," writes Dialog International.

Related posts on Atlantic Review: "If It's From Europe, Forget It" and Other Comments on Health Care and Europeans are taller than Americans.


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Pat Patterson on :

6th out of six countries surveyed? That's like the old joke from the Cold War where a Russian athlete in a two person race was congratualted on finishing 2nd and given an Order of Lenin in Moscow. While the decadent American athlete finsihed 2nd to last proving the inferiority of the American system. The Commonwealth Fund has a very good reputation for sponsoring studies and scholarships for visiting physicians but they also make no bones about calling for some form of major intervention by the government into healthcare. But luckily they, as yet, have only confined their push to access to health care and not in the actual treatments offered. Lector caveo!

David on :

What is your solution for 50 million Americans without any health insurance and 100 million woefully underinsured? More tax cuts? Each month at least half a million Americans are losing their jobs - which means they also lose health insurance, unless they they can afford COBRA (at least $1500 a month for the average family). The whole world is in recession - if not a depression. But the United States is the only wealthy country in which the economic catastrophe will also be a health care catastrophe.

Pat Patterson on :

Unlike Britain where there already have begun cut backs in the budget of the NHS hospitals and clinics? But aside from that are the statistical differences in actual care enough to justify the DMV from running health care? And that's another problem in that these words get bandied about so much just what is that is being demanded, better and cheaper insurance or better actual care? If I absolutely had to chose, and it appears that the current administration is doing it damndest to present it as a Hobson's Choice, then I would find adopting the French system the least disruptive and most amenable to the American psyche. But since we do still have a choice then I would prefer that we essentially keep the guns and the butter and acknowledge that there are going to be uninsured but not denied medical care. These kind of programs in the name of efficiency or morality by the government acquire no economies of scale or seats in Heaven. Most of that 50 million is not permenent and many of those are the children of the unemployed. Who surprisingly become insured once that head of the household acquires a job. The fact remains that virtually no one in America is denied health care, insured or not, and the alternatives continue to be unpalatable to the American public. Most want some kind of solution then get cold feet when presented with the options those pushing for national programs have been laying out for the gods of Mesopotamia since described in Gilgamesh.

nicson on :

Solution 50000000 Americans for what department of health service 100000000 without they are woefully underinsured? A more tax reduces and exempts? Americans of at least 500,000 people are losing a job at one months and when - right Riga they do not do and for their family one month average COBRA (minimum $ 1500 these people could be competent means the fact that loses a health insurance). The whole world is to a depression and - if knows melancholia. But large of US economy also will become only the health insurance is the rich man country. _______ [url=]tamiflu[/url]

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