With a little bit of research you’ll quickly find that healthcare in the United States leaves something to be desired. The United States spends more on healthcare than any other developed nation. So, why do Americans live shorter lives than other developed countries? American infants have a lower chance of surviving past infancy than those in eight other affluent nations. Why?
Healthcare in the United States isn’t what you’d expect – and neither is life expectancy. The US ranks 26th out of 34 nations. In the chart below, only 3 of 29 nations have lower life expectancies
Spending per capita
Over 17% of our GDP goes towards healthcare compared to 11% for Canada (B.C), 10.3% for Japan or 11.5% for Switzerland, all with much better health outcomes.
Americans are dying from treatable disease
As an American you are more likely to die from asthma than a person in Brazil or Costa Rica, even though we have similar disease rates.
Americans with treatable diseases, such as asthma are more likely to end up in a hospital and die once admitted. More people end up in the hospital with asthma than any other developed country. Part of the reason is the soaring cost of medication. An inhaler in the US costs 18 times more than it does in Greece. Also, access to preventative care in America is much worse than most developed countries.
Doctors Don’t Have Enough Time In The US For Patient Care
Compared to the Czech Republic, New Zealand, France and Israel, doctors in the US spend less time consulting with patients and do a far worse job explaining what’s wrong.
Diagnostic tests cost more
An MRI in the US can cost 10 times as much as it would in Switzerland.
Healthcare in the United States is Worsening for the Poor and Middle Class
Some 11 million persons have gained health insurance during the 2014 enrollment. However, few of those without subsidies have enrolled. 71% enrolled as a result of expanded Medicaid or subsidies. Unfortunately, according to 2013 data, 55% of doctors nationwide refuse new Medicaid patients.
While 11 million have gained insurance with subsidies, 4.7 million lost the insurance they had personally chosen to buy. By 2021 10 million Americans will be forced off their chosen employer-based health insurance. Worse still, many now find themselves without access to their chosen doctors. 68% of Obamacare insurance options only cover narrow or very narrow provider networks.
For cancer care, the majority of America’s best hospitals in the National Comprehensive Cancer Network are not covered in most exchanges. 2015 was worse and 2016 will see a further reduction in patient choices as Obamacare exchanges restrict access to top doctors and hospitals in an attempt to quell insurance premium increases caused by the law itself.
In 2013 there were 107 million with government insurance and this will rise to 140 million by the end of this decade. As this number increases there will be an increase in the number of doctors refusing Medicaid and Medicare due to inadequate payments.
As you can see, an already terrible health care system is getting worse. Do I have an answer? No. Does the current system work? No! In my opinion we must find affordable private insurance tailored to the individual, not a broad sweeping one plan fits everyone. The poor must be liberated from Medicaid so they can gain access to medical care. Finally, healthcare costs must be reduced by competition and value-seeking by consumers.
Another health opinion by James Krider, MD
P.S. For more stats and other information, checkout this Wikipedia article.