Sunday, July 8, 2012

What Are We Getting For Our Money?

I'm taking an on-line class on Health Policy and the Affordable Care Act through Coursera and the University of Pennsylvania, and it's been fascinating.  The Right Wing here in the US likes to claim that A) we have the best health care in the nation and that B) Socialized medicine would cause the end of the world--okay, not in those terms, but that is the general level of extremism in their discourse.  So, I was amazed to see this graph:

The chart is from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Economic Development, based on 2010 data.  It's an international organization, and though there are elements in American who would still claim that somehow an international organization is spreading lies put about by Obama to bring socialized medicine (like the rest of the "first world" countries), but for the non-paranoid delusionals, it's a real eye-opener.  The United States spends more than 50% more than any other country on health care, and we have one of the LOWER life expectancies.  Of course, there a few things that sort of skew this--America has more violent deaths than most of these nations, which lowers life expectancy--but NOTHING changes the amount we spend on health care.  Nothing.


Alacaeriel said...

I think it's caused by a variety of things that the government in Australia has tried to prevent. Pharmaceutical companies can advertise over there, and not so much here. Treatments that cost $AUS2,000 over here cost about $US20,000 over there (I've done research into that one, I've had it done to me) and I still can't figure out why. I mean, that cost difference was in 2004/2005, and back then, the Aussie dollar was worth around 60 US cents. So... according to my calculations, my treatment cost around $US1,200. The cost in America doesn't really make sense, does it?

And maybe the costs are what makes the spending so high?

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