47 Depressing Facts About The Healthcare System That Will Make You Beg For Reform

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

We’re still talking about health care reform?Unfortunately yes. Despite the Barack Obama’s big reform package, U.S. health care costs are growing 5.7% each year. That’s faster than anywhere else in the developed world.

The quality of health and health care in America isn’t good either.

Also you should worry about a repeal of Obamacare if Republicans get their way. Without any reform, health care costs would return to a 6.3% annual growth rate.

Both parties can agree on the need for a much bigger reform package. Agreeing what it looks like, however, may be impossible.

Health care costs are growing 5.7% each year, even after reform

U.S. health spending per capita is growing much faster than in other developed countries

U.S. health spending per capita is twice that of the Netherlands

In the past decade, insurance premiums have increased three times as fast as wages

U.S. insurance overhead costs are a shocking $516 per capita -- nearly 7 times the OECD average

America spent $2.5 trillion on health care in 2009. That's more than the entire GDP of Great Britain.

Source: Time

Only 28% of U.S. doctors use electronic medical records. 90% do in the U.K.

41% of U.S. adults have problems paying medical bills and many are hounded by collection agencies.

American kids are three times as likely to be prescribed antidepressants than kids in Europe.

A quarter of Americans throw away prescriptions because they can't afford to fill them.

Source: Prospect.org

42% of Americans said hospital staff do not always explain medicines and side effects.

Health care spending dwarfs the $1.3 trillion of combined profitability generated by every corporation in America.

A quarter of America's children have untreated tooth decay or cavities.

20% of Americans report having had a lab, medical, or medication error -- the worst among developed countries

Source: Prospect.org

Doctors spend $210 billion per year on procedures based on fear of liability, not patient need.

Source: CNN Money

30,000 infants die in the U.S. each year.

Compared to the British, Americans are three times as likely to have diabetes.

Source: OECD

More than a quarter of Texans don't have access to affordable health care. 100% of Mexicans do.

For-profit insurance is ripping you off with a 26% profit margin

As health care costs escalate, however, even private insurers are making less money.

Prescription drugs cost around 50% more in the U.S. than in other industrialized countries.

High rates of chronic disease -- like obesity, cancer, and asthma -- account for as much as 2/3 of increasing health care costs.

Most doctors in Europe are paid based on performance. In America, this is true with only 30 per cent.

Source: Prospect.org

As much as 91% of all health care dollars are spent on patients with chronic conditions.

Inefficient claims processing costs over $200 billion per year.

Source: CNN Money

Automation, elimination of pre-approval requirements, and other innovations could increase billing efficiency by 50%. This would save insurers $27 billion, hospitals $17 billion and physicians $6.9 billion.

Source: AHA Journals

The (continental) US is ranked lower than Puerto Rico in life expectancy.

Source: Wiki

Medicare and Medicaid consistently pay under cost for the services their clients use.

If our health care system were its own country, it would be the sixth largest economy in the world.

Without reform, employer-based health care costs are projected to increase 166% by 2019.

Americans are twice as obese as Canadians.

Source: OECD

47% of all hospitals report issues with emergency room crowding.

The number of beds per person in U.S. hospitals is in steady decline.

Demands on emergency rooms are steadily increasing.

America has half as many doctors per capita as Greece.

Source: OECD

The per employee cost of health care is projected to reach $28,350 by 2019, nearly 3 times the cost in 2009.

195,000 people per year die in America's hospitals because of medical errors.

The uninsured represent 15% of population, but 20% of emergency room visits.

11 per cent of American women are taking drugs to combat depression (the world's highest rate).

America's infant mortality rate is 87% higher than France's.

America spends around $4.5 billion to provide health care for all prison inmates. For many this is an appealing option

USA had the world's 12th lowest infant mortality rate in 1960. Now we've slipped to 43rd.

Source: Health PAC

73% of sick Americans had difficulty getting non-ER care on nights, weekends, and holidays.

42% of Americans spend more than $500 out of pocket on prescription drugs yearly.

22% of Americans said their test results and medical records were not available at the time of their medical appointment. The Netherlands are much more efficient (9%).

Eight per cent of health expenditures go to insurance administration. Compare that to two per cent in Finland.

Remote Area Medical, or RAM, was an organisation set up to go into third world countries to supply health care to the needy. Now it is doing 60% of its work in the U.S.

Source: News Busters

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