Tuesday, August 25, 2009

How Does US Health Care Rank Compared To Other Industrialized Countries?

We suck ass. That's how we compare. We are the only industrialized nation on the planet that doesn't have the means to provide health care for everyone. The only one. Everyone else can do it. Just not us.

According to the World Health Organization, we rank 37th among the 50 industrialzed countries.

That's 37th from the top, only 13th from the bottom.

From Yahoo Answers

WHO rankings:

Rank Country

1 France
2 Italy
3 San Marino
4 Andorra
5 Malta
6 Singapore
7 Spain
8 Oman
9 Austria
10 Japan
11 Norway
12 Portugal
13 Monaco
14 Greece
15 Iceland
16 Luxembourg
17 Netherlands
18 United Kingdom
19 Ireland
20 Switzerland
21 Belgium
22 Colombia
23 Sweden
24 Cyprus
25 Germany
26 Saudi Arabia
27 United Arab Emirates
28 Israel
29 Morocco
30 Canada
31 Finland
32 Australia
33 Chile
34 Denmark
35 Dominica
36 Costa Rica

37 United States of America
38 Slovenia
39 Cuba

40 Brunei
41 New Zealand
42 Bahrain
43 Croatia
44 Qatar
45 Kuwait
46 Barbados
47 Thailand
48 Czech Republic
49 Malaysia
50 Poland


1.The US has the most expensive healthcare system in the world. It is almost twice as expensive as every other developed nation. This is largely due to administrative costs which account for 19-25% of healthcare costs, and up to 34% at for-profit hospitals.

2.Other than South Africa, America is the only developed country in the world that does not provide healthcare for all of its citizens.

3.Yet, the US ranks 26th in infant mortality and 24th in the number of healthy years a person can expect to live - putting America’s healthcare system in the company of Cuba and Slovenia rather than Canada and Western European nations.

4.And, despite ludicrous right-wing anecdotal claims of high dissatisfaction among those who live in countries with universal healthcare, the reality is that, with the exception of Italy, Americans are more dissatisfied with their healthcare than are the citizens of every other developed nation, including England, France, Germany, and Canada. Moreover, US doctors spend less time with patients that do doctors in other nations.




Joe said...

Notice that the top countries don't spend all their GDP on a huge standing army like we do in the USA. If we didn't spend so much on escapades like Iraq and Afganistan, as well as "protecting" so many other countries, well, we would have enough to pay for universal health care. Our choice is either a big army or health care, we can't have them both.

Dan said...

Joe -

Of course we could have both. If we put anything close to the amount of money we currently spend on health care into a tax fund to support public health care, we would have enough left over to give every teabagger a recreational colonoscopy.

I Travel for JOOLS said...

It's easy to have either quality or quantity but not easy to have both especially in a country as large and diverse as this country.

My mother lives in a 60 bed public nursing home in a small town in Wisconsin, mostly medicaid patients. It's a nice place, quaint, the care is good; they even have happy hour on Fridays. Conversely, my sister is an ombudsman for patients in several large public nursing homes in the Chicago suburbs. The cost is triple the cost of my mother's nursing home, they are not nearly as nice as my mom's (I've been with my sister on her visits) and believe me there is no happy hour on Fridays.

What works for small urban states won't necessarily work for large rural states.

I agree we could and should make changes in our health care system, but there is no doubt in my mind that quality will suffer under the proposals that are currently under consideration EXCEPT I still have hope for the coop system that is yet to come out of the Senate Finance Committee.

emawkc said...

Let me just say one thing about this list... In your FACE, Slovenia!!!

May said...

Wow. We suck!

m.v. said...

I haven't heard anything about making it better,just available to everybody.and those "administrative costs" are actual people with jobs,screw them,who needs them anyway.many countries on the list have 10-15 unemployment even in good economy,healthcare is built into their taxes not financed by the money they are promising to pull out of their asses.why not come out and say-everyone pays 10% tax,no exceptions,everyone gets access to healthcare.

Old Fart said...

Couple of things:

Administrative costs. Does anyone actually believe administrative costs will DECREASE if government tightens regulations or comes in with a government option? Anyone? What will happen is the administrative costs will get shifted (and probably increased) to government agencies. They will still exist. France is seeing that issue now. To save money, they are closing rural hospitals, and INCREASING out of pocket co-pays for their "free" health care. See, France is trying "Americanize" their health care.

Infant mortality rates. Comparing any Western European IMR with the USA IMR is comparing Apples to Grapefruits. Many EU nations (France, Germany, Belgium, etc) have guidelines for Age/Weight/Length as to what constitutes a "live" birth. Premmies born with an A/W/L less than the guidelines, that dies at the hospital even though it was breathing, ISN'T counted as a live birth. In the US, any birth that shows signs of life (heartrate and resperation) is counted as live birth.

Patient satisfaction. The problem with this type of measurement is... what kind of patients are they asking? Are they asking folks who go to the doctor once a year for a checkup, are they asking severly ill people who are in and out of hospitals for years and needing specialized care, or some mixture? See, the folks who only go see the doctor once a year are probably going to be pretty damn satisfied. The true measurement of satisfaction is people who need care above and beyond from specialists. Harvard did a study and found Americans were as or more satisfied with access to specialized care than any other english speaking country (UK,CA,AU) with socialized free healthcare.

Xavier Onassis said...

Old Fart - Administrative costs in trhe French National Health Care system are one third to one fourth what they are in the U.S.

They don't need billing offices. Every resident gets a "Carte Vitale". It's an electronic medical insurance card.

Let's say you're a Frenchman. You walk into your doctor's office with a complaint.

The doctor swipes your Carte Vitale and up pops all of your medical records.

He or she can see everything that any other doctors have prescribed for your current complaint and all of your other complaints.

Your doctor prescribes something new and hits "submit".

Presecription is sent to your pharmacy, your Carte Vitale is updated with the new information, the doctor is paid by the national health care plan within 3 days and the patient has their co-pay reimbursed by the same national health care plan.

Everyone is covered. Everyone is paid. Everyone is happy.

The doctor's don't have to hire a billing office that has to figure out "This patient has this insurance and they have this copay and that insurance only covers this percent of this procedure and they require these forms and they will take this long to respond."

It's a single payer solution.

Doctor see's patient.

Doctor treats patient.

Doctor swipes card.

Patient get's treatment.

Doctor get's paid.

It doesn't get any simpler than the French system.

As far as France experimenting with "Americanizing" their health care system, that's complete bullshit.

In fact, all across the globe, an "Americanized, For-Profit Health Care" model is the demon that is trotted out whenever anyone voices any concerns about long lines or rationing. Nobody, anywhere, is willing to trade wait lists for what we have.

Look, we are the only civilized, industrialized country on the planet Earth who thinks that it is OK that if a person gets sick, and their sickness can't make somebody else rich, then it's OK that they just go bankrupt or die.

That's fucked up and it needs to change.

I want to see the U.S. at the top of that list by a huge margin.

As far ahead of the rest of the world as we are in military might and technology, that's how far of everybody else I want us to be in health care for EVERY RESIDENT.

Old Fart said...

XO, France is facing huge problems with its system... and they are adding PERMANENT Co-Pays to the system... meaning the patient doesn't get reimbursed.

The system is hemmoraging money. Assurance Maladie has been in the red since 1989.

If France doesn't get their health care costs under control... it will eventually collapse. Then what happens? Who bails out the French Government Health System?


Xavier Onassis said...

Old Fart - So you are saying France could drop to having the 2nd Best Health Care Plan in the world which would knock us down to 38th place? Or would e still be 37th?

Old Fart said...

[So you are saying France could drop to having the 2nd Best Health Care Plan in the world]

Yeah... just like I'd say that the auto companies in Detroit are still ranked high after their collapse because of uncontrolled spending by the government.

So, are you saying you HONESTLY believe France can sustain it's current health care system losing 15+ billion EVERY year... even though they control the costs? I don't.

Xavier Onassis said...

Old Fart - Every single industrialized country in the world seems to manage to have a national health care plan that covers every one. Except us.

Are you saying we are incapable of accomplishing something that everyone else in the world has found a way to accomplish?

What is your vision of this country? What sort of America do you want to live in?

A big, vast lawless, wilderness filled with self sufficient survivalists armed to the teeth with guns, ammo, pit bulls and MREs?

Oh yeah. Very Norman Rockwell. Can't wait to see the portrait show at the art gallery.

Sorry. I guess that would be more finger drawings on cave walls.

Dude, you should just gather up your shit and wander off into the woods somewhere.

You would be so much happier without the "burden" of civilization weighing you down.

Good luck with all that.

Old Fart said...

You didn't answer the question.

Instead you ranted about what you think I might believe in.

Feel free to give it another shot though...

So, are you saying you HONESTLY believe France can sustain it's current health care system losing 15+ billion EVERY year... even though they control the costs?

Xavier Onassis said...

Old Fart - The French clearly place a high priority on public health care for everyone.

As does every other industrialized nation on the planet.

Except us.

I'm quite sure the French will solve any challemges they face as I hope we can face our own challenges.

We have the wealth.

Do we have the generosity and the compassion for our fellow citizens?

Or will we be stingey and self serving?

That's the question.

What kind of world do you want to live in?

Canada Life Insurance said...

Joe -

Nobody is asking you to protect any country. And even if you had that money that you spend on your army, your health care would just cost more, more and more but that doesn't mean the quality would get better. I mean you already put so much into it and yet, #37 on the list. So it's not always about the money, it's about the decisions made too...


Old Fart said...

[Do we have the generosity and the compassion for our fellow citizens?]

That isn't what you're asking. Generosity and compassion don't come from the threat of jail.

Generosity and compassion would be you donating money or time to people who need it.

It is an individual thing. When you try to make it a "collective" thing forced onto the citizens by government, well that was tried already in another country.

WKP said...

I'd feel more comfortable with government-paid health care if they would address some of the *real* causes of our high costs - poor lifestyle choices. The government subsidizes a product that kills more than 400,000 Americans *every year*, and the cost of treating those people as they die a slow, painful death runs into the billions of dollars. If we banned this substance, we could save millions of lives and, long-term, trillions of dollars. Why do we still allow people to smoke?

Reid said...

WKP - At what point does banning substances actually work? It didn't work with prohibition why would it with cigarettes? Not only that but since when has freedom included banning things?

jsteele9731 said...

Has anyone ever addressed the fact that we have been called, the fattest nation in the world? Obesity has been called an epidemic, and no other country has that problem for their health care system to battle with. Additionally, if you want to ban cigarette's, then what should we ban next, fatty foods? I believe our system is flawed, but do we need another government program to fix it? Since they have done so well with all the other programs they have started. (welfare, social security, medicare, medicaid)