Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Health Care in the U.S.

Via Kevin Drum comes this excerpt from Malcolm Gladwell's New Yorker article:
One of the great mysteries of political life in the United States is why Americans are so devoted to their health-care system. Six times in the past century — during the First World War, during the Depression, during the Truman and Johnson Administrations, in the Senate in the nineteen-seventies, and during the Clinton years — efforts have been made to introduce some kind of universal health insurance, and each time the efforts have been rejected. Instead, the United States has opted for a makeshift system of increasing complexity and dysfunction. Americans spend $5,267 per capita on health care every year, almost two and half times the industrialized world’s median of $2,193; the extra spending comes to hundreds of billions of dollars a year.

What does that extra spending buy us? Americans have fewer doctors per capita than most Western countries. We go to the doctor less than people in other Western countries. We get admitted to the hospital less frequently than people in other Western countries. We are less satisfied with our health care than our counterparts in other countries. American life expectancy is lower than the Western average. Childhood-immunization rates in the United States are lower than average.

....Nor is our system more efficient. The United States spends more than a thousand dollars per capita per year — or close to four hundred billion dollars — on health-care-related paperwork and administration, whereas Canada, for example, spends only about three hundred dollars per capita. And, of course, every other country in the industrialized world insures all its citizens; despite those extra hundreds of billions of dollars we spend each year, we leave forty-five million people without any insurance.
People need first to be aware of this and then (logically) pissed off about it.

4 Comments:

Anonymous California Health Insurance said...

Universal health care can be a great impact on our health care system. It is unfortunate to hear so many lack health insurance. We really need to improve our health care system. Health insurance is a major aspect to many and we should help everyone get covered.

11/18/2005 6:09 PM  
Anonymous Blue Cross of California said...

Great blog I hope we can work to build a better health care system. Health insurance is a major aspect to many.

12/01/2005 2:17 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

I've really enjoyed reading your blog. Very interesting.

My health related article site has lots of info pertaining to health related article.

Come visit sometime :)

12/29/2005 5:53 AM  
Blogger Tony said...

I've really enjoyed reading your blog. Very interesting.

My health related article site has lots of info pertaining to health related article.

Come visit sometime :)

12/29/2005 6:42 PM  

Post a Comment

<< Home