United States Lags in Health Care
7-17-08 Commonwealth Study Shows U.S. Lag in Health Care
A Commonwealth Fund study on health care released today shows that the U.S. spends more than twice as much on each person for health care as most other industrialized countries but it has fallen to last place among those countries in preventing deaths through use of timely and effective medical care.
Access to health care has worsened since the Fund's first report card in 2006 as 75 million people are believed to lack adequate health insurance or are uninsured altogether.
The U.S. now ranks last in preventable mortality, just below Ireland and Portugal, according to the Commonwealth's analysis of World Health Organization data. The leader by that measure is France, followed by Japan and Australia.
The report also emphasizes the inefficiencies of the American health care system. The administrative costs of the medical insurance system comsume much more of the current health care dollar, about 7.5 percent, than in other countries. Much of the high costs are attributed to the lack of computerized systems that may link pharmacies and doctors' offices or that may enable insurers to more efficiently pay doctors' bills.
[Based on an article in the NY Times 7-17-08 by Reed Abelson, linked below.]
U.S. Pays More for Health Care But Gets Less Reed Abelsen in the NY Times 7-17-08
- U.S. Health Care Worst in Industrialized World
U.S. spends twice as much on health care per person but has fallen to last place among industrialized countries. Access to care has worsened--75 million persons lack adequate health insurance. Administrative costs eat up too much of health care bill.