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

Health Care

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.

Now see the 50 depressing facts about healthcare >

America spends $7,290 per capita on health care, far more than other countries.

Source: OECD

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%.

Source: KFF.org

A majority of Americans complain that their doctors neither spend enough time with them nor respect them.

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

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

Source: Prospect.org

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 (tied for worst with Australia).

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.

America has half as many doctors per capita as Greece.

Source: OECD

Medicare operates with 3% overhead. Non-profit insurance has a 16% overhead. Private insurance has a higher overhead, at 26%.

Source: Health PAC

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

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

At this rate, one quarter of GDP will be spent on health care in 2025.

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.

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

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.

Source: AHA Journals

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

Source: Wiki

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

If our health care system were its own country, it would be the seventh 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.

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 assumption that having a full time job guarantees you health insurance is false. 45% of uninsured Americans actually have a full time job.

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, so if you really want coverage...

The United States ranks 43rd in lowest infant mortality rate, down from 12th in 1960.

Source: Health PAC

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

Abortions cost over $600 in most U.S. states. They are free in England.

Despite cost, Americans have more abortions per 1,000 women of child-bearing age (19.4 per year) than the British (18.2).

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

Now Check Out The States Where It's Impossible To Get Health Insurance

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