Why does USA's healthcare system rank so low?
Considering we are one of the richest countries in the world, why is it that we have a healthcare system that ranks so poorly? The last time the World Health Organization ranked us we came in 37th, and in 2014 when Commonwealth Fund surveyed just 11 countries, we came in last out of those 11. So why and what are the contributing factors to this?
Ours is too expensive.
Cures and permanent treatments are discouraged over long-term treatment of symptoms with prescription drugs.
Basically, healthcare in the US is a business rather than a service.
1. The rankings are biased to reward socialized medicine systems, while the UK sees people die waiting for medical care or pull their own teeth because they can't get into a dentist and Canadians come to the US because they don't want to wait months to see a Canadian professional.
2. Our health system is taxed with 10-15 million illegal aliens who rely more upon public hospitals and Emergency Rooms, raising prices and demand for those services while taxpayers foot the bill.
3. From TB to leprosy to Chagas disease, open borders has led to a spike in diseases that aren't native here - and the natives have to pay for the medical care of those who came here, sometimes specifically for that care.
4. Health factors like addiction, mental illness and being a victim of violent crime are far higher if you grow up in an unmarried home and 80% of blacks are illegitimate. If you remove their stats from the equation, the US murder rate rivals the EU's lower one and our health stats improve significantly because their higher infant mortality and injury rate don't pull the national average down.
First, we don't have a healthcare system. We have a sick care system. Our system is structured to discourage people who aren't horribly sick from seeing a health care professional. We don't see doctors in this country to maintain good health. We see them when we're so sick, we can't fix the problem ourselves, at home, with an over the counter drug.
Second, every aspect of our system is for profit. Hospitals, insurance companies, and drug companies all want to squeeze the most money they can out of the people using their products and services, at a time when many of them can least afford it. We pay double, triple, quadruple what other countries pay for the same products and services because there is no regulation on what these companies charge. Making the obscene profits they do on the backs of people who are ill, and in need of care or medication seems to be just fine in the eyes of many Americans---until they're hit with the bills themselves.
Third, America seems to be in a phase the demonizes people who don't have the means to pay for care. The whole country seems to have an "I've got mine, so to hell with the rest of you" mindset. Profit and money are good, and caring for your neighbors and those who are less fortunate is bad. Until we turn that around, and decide that healthy people contribute to a healthy society, and that caring for those with least should be more important than how much money a corporation can squeeze out of them, we're going to continue to be ranked at the bottom of those surveys.
Good health care should be a right for all, not a privilege reserved for the rich. The countries who rank highest in those surveys have recognized this, and acted upon it. America has not.
The surveys rank health system efficiency. Rankings are based on:
1. Overall health. We are the most obese country on the planet with the resulting diseases such as high cholesterol, high blood pressure, etc.
2. Responsiveness. We rank 10th out of 11 major countries in same day / next day appointments.
3. Financial fairness. Well, that's an easy one. We have a for-profit health system that takes as much money as possible from patients and transfers it to shareholders and executives.
Here is your survey:
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