US Healthcare vs. the Rest of the World

he state of the United States today is extremely fragile. Lawmakers are at war with one another over how to reduce our deficit while increasing our quality of living, and there is no end to the debate in sight. At the very core of this struggle over our future is a basic human necessity: health care. Many other developed nations have worked out sustainable models for health care, but in the US, costs are higher and quality of care is worse. The recent passage of health care reform is aimed at fixing our broken system, but many of us want to know: why is our health care so expensive in the first place? Medical Billing and Coding present part one of a two-part series detailing why our health care system is lagging behind those of other wealthy nations, both in affordability and in effectiveness.

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Why Your Stitches Cost $1,500 - Part One

Via: Medical Billing And Coding

10 thoughts on “US Healthcare vs. the Rest of the World

  1. Linda

    MANY of the drugs from Canada do not work as well as those made in the US. I’ve gotten them through generics and they are lousy.

    1. Albert

      Generics use the same formula as original, after the patent ends.

      It is costly because the lobbies will make anything so that doctors continue to prescribe original meds, and because there is no country-wide strategies/laws to reduce the costs.

      The worst is not the price, but the overmedication that pollute waters with meds, making all bacteries and viruses becoming.

      Anyway, if you’re ill it God’s will so just accept to die.

      1. Douche-Be-Gone

        Your argument was valid right up until this sentence:

        ‘Anyway, if you’re ill it[‘s] God’s will so just accept to die.’

  2. Erik

    Where is part 2?
    I would really want to know why this is so high in the USA and for example so low in the Netherlands.

    When will this be published?

  3. Norman

    We spend more on health care because we can.

    Other countries with government controlled plans do not allow individuals to make individual choices about what to spend on health care. Furthering the problem is the amount of government involvement in health care already. Government sets prices through Medicare and medicaid and all others must pay the same. If we got government out of health care altogether, the market would set the prices.

    This is just more propaganda in support of government control. History has shown that government of any kind fails when attempting to control market place activity. And like it or not, health care is market driven. I want one type of health care service and you want something different. Only a free market can sort that all out. Without a free market rationing of some kind is inevitable.

    Even supporters of Obamacare now admit that rationing will be involved. The market lets individuals make choices for themselves. Government run health care lets government make choices for individuals. And when that choice is whether to extend life….?

    1. Antinorman

      There are a lot of countries on the list that have different health system. Some are actually market driven with some government involvement. US is not completely market driven anyway. Your argument is not valid based on data. If US spend more and get less for what it paid for, how is the system better than other countries? If other countries deliver better health services to its citizens in lower cost, how can we say they will fail? They have been doing this as long as we have been doing it. In fact our system is the one going to fail because it will consume most of our GDP.
      Let’s talk about Rationing. Is private insurance not rationing? They decide what they want to cover and what procedures they want to cover. They decide who is eligible and who is not? How is that not rationing? Sure, you can make the argument that you don’t have to go to other insurance company. However, do you really have a choice if everyone of them does the same thing?

    2. Looney

      Yes, we do spend more because we can. But that’s not “we can” as in that we are permitted more choice. It’s “we can” in that the providers are not regulated in what they can charge, so we can be forced to pay a lot more for the same services. But to be fair, it’s not (say) that the doctors are overcharging, but that expenses are too high all the way up the chain. Medical school is too expensive. Medical equipment is too expensive. Drugs are too expensive. Malpractice insurance is too expensive. And so forth…

  4. Jerry Critter

    I recently asked a doctor why US doctors get paid twice the equivalent purchasing power as European doctors. His answer was “Because we can”…not because we have to.

  5. cassa

    I was toured through a US hospital about 10 years ago. I asked what a patient having an appendectomy would be charged for the surgery itself; the answer was $3000. That didn’t include the follow up visits while in hospital or the ER visit from the surgeon.

    In Canada? The same patient would get his surgery, ER visit from the surgeon and any inpatient hospital visits from the surgeon for ~$350.

    My grandmother received a liver transplant in 1991; we received a piece of paper from the hospital at our request to see how much her transplant had cost. The surgery itself (the lead surgeon going to get the new liver, a second surgeon opening her up and preparing the old liver to be removed, the OR nurses, the pilots for the Lear jet, the anaesthetists) was $99,995 and her hospital bed for 21 days, 12 hours of which was in ICU was just over $24,000.

    In the US, the surgery alone would have been over $300,000, according to her surgeon who had trained in NY, then her hospital bed would have been over and above that. Since she’d had her autoimmune condition for many years, she wouldn’t have had health care coverage and he wasn’t sure if Medicare/Medicaid would have covered such a procedure.

    She also didn’t pay for her most expensive medication; it was provided by the hospital.

  6. Mark

    $60 for a checkup? Anyone buying that? If you think half an hour with your physician should cost less than half an hour with your accountant – go for it. Both require a high level of training and certification – that’s why it’s expensive.

    I think using the word “costs” might be misleading. It looks like what is actually being compared is “price”. The price of many of those comparisons is heavily subsidized (paid for by much higher taxes). You still pay a LOT, you just don’t pay it on the spot.

    Also, recall that Americans already pay for the poorest, oldest and youngest among us. The amount that medicare reimburses a hospital or clinic may not actually cover the “cost” to the provider. That difference gets shows up in your “price” – when you help the hospital make up the difference.

    Finally, we have technology and R&D beyond compare. I bet if the author of that nifty graphic needed heart surgery or cancer treatment, he or she would opt to have the procedure done in the US over UK, Canada or France.

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