Right now, healthcare reform is the subject of a fierce partisan debate in Washington DC.
There’s a reason for this: The US healthcare system is really messed up. It needs fixing.
recognising this doesn’t need to be partisan.
Sure, Democrats, Republicans, and libertarians may have vastly different ideas of how to fix the system, and no compromise may be possible, but there is a lot to be depressed about.
America spent $2.4 trillion on health care in 2008. That's nearly as much as food, clothing, and national defence combined.
From 2000 to 2007, health care premiums increased 10.6% per year. In the same period, overall inflation averaged only 2.8%.
A majority of Americans complain that their doctors neither spend enough time with them nor respect them.
Most doctors in Europe are paid based on performance. In America, this is true with only 30 per cent.
Health care spending dwarfs the $1.3 trillion of combined profitability generated by every corporation in America.
20% of Americans report having had a lab, medical, or medication error (tied for worst with Australia).
Medicare operates with 3% overhead. Non-profit insurance has a 16% overhead. Private insurance has a higher overhead, at 26%.
High rates of chronic disease -- somewhat preventable things like obesity, cancer, and asthma -- account for as much as 2/3 of increasing health care costs.
Hispanics kids are half as likely to see doctors as Americans -- and many other discrepancies in care are based on demographics.
Automation, elimination of pre-approval requirements, and other innovations could increase billing efficiency by 50% and save insurers $27.2 billion, hospitals $17 billion, and physicians $6.9 billion.
If our health care system were its own country, it would be the seventh largest economy in the world.
The per employee cost of health care is projected to reach $28,350 by 2019, nearly 3 times the cost in 2009.
The assumption that having a full time job guarantees you health insurance is false. 45% of uninsured Americans actually have a full time job.
America spends around $4.5 billion to provide health care for all prison inmates, so if you really want coverage...
Despite cost, Americans have more abortions per 1,000 women of child-bearing age (19.4 per year) than the British (18.2).
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.
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