Saturday, August 08, 2009
Real Health Care Stats
In a September 2007 report to Congress, the Congressional Research Service (CRS) compared 2004 US health care spending with other OECD countries:
-- America then averaged $6,102 per person, well over double the average $2,560 for OECD countries;
-- US health care spending was 15.3% of the economy compared to 8.9% on average for OECD countries; for Canada it was 9.9%; Germany - 10.6%; Great Britain - 8.1%; France - 10.5%; and Japan 8.0%;
-- "US prices for medical care commodities and services are significantly higher than in other countries (delivering comparable care) and serve as a key determinant of higher overall spending;" high insurance and drug costs are the most significant factors;
-- life expectancy in America is lower than in other OECD countries;
-- the US ranks 22nd on life expectancy at birth; post-65, it's 11th for men and 13th for women;
-- America has the third highest infant mortality rate after Turkey and Mexico;
-- heart disease, cancer, and respiratory diseases are the top OECD country causes of death; America ranks 17th for heart disease "despite (performing) substantially more invasive heart procedures than all the other (OECD) countries;"
-- quality of US health care isn't superior overall; nor do Americans "have substantially better access to health care resources, even putting aside the issue of the uninsured;" and
-- because of the cost, many Americans delay or forgo treatment.
World Health Organization's (WHO) Ranking of World Health Systems
WHO ranks America 37th overall, behind Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, Iceland, Malta, Colombia, Cyprus, Morocco and Costa Rica and about equal to Slovenia and Cuba.
In other measures, it has the US 24th on life expectancy, 72nd on level of health, 32nd in distribution of care, 54 - 55th in financial contribution fairness, 15th in overall goal attainment, and first in per capita amount spent.
In a 2007 Commonwealth Fund study comparing Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, the UK and US, America ranks last as in its earlier studies on access, patient safety, efficiency, chronic care management, and equity. Most notable is its absence of universal coverage. Overall, the US ranks poorly on its ability to promote healthy lives through affordable, high quality care.
Unfortunately it appears the "reforms" making their highly contentious way through Congress are unlikely to improve those rankings. The only true solution is a Medicare for All option.
Much of this is lifted straight from Steve Lendmen's blog. For even more damning statistics from even more organizations go there.