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Thread: US Health System Ranks Last-

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    Post US Health System Ranks Last-

    compared to other countries: studies by Jocelyne Zablit
    Tue May 15, 2:44 AM ET



    WASHINGTON (AFP) - The US health care system ranks last among other major rich countries for quality, access and efficiency, according to two studies released Tuesday by a health care think tank.

    The studies by the Commonwealth Fund found that the United States, which has the most expensive health system in the world, underperforms consistently relative to other countries and differs most notably in the fact that Americans have no universal health insurance coverage.

    "The United States stands out as the only nation in these studies that does not ensure access to health care through universal coverage and promotion of a 'medical home' for patients," said Commonwealth Fund president Karen Davis.

    "Our failure to ensure health insurance for all and encourage stable, long-term ties between physicians and patients shows in our poor performance on measures of quality, access, efficiency, equity, and health outcomes."

    In "Mirror, Mirror on the Wall: An International Update on the Comparative Performance of American Health Care", the study focused on interviews with physicians and patients in Australia, Britain, Canada, Germany, New Zealand and the United States who were asked to speak about their experiences and views on their health systems.

    The US ranked last in most areas, including access to health care, patient safety, timeliness of care, efficiency and equity. Americans were also last in terms of whether they had a regular physician.

    "The US spends twice what the average industrialized country spends on health care but we're clearly not getting value for the money," Davis told AFP.

    She also noted that 45 million Americans, or 15 percent of the US population, have no health insurance, which contributes to the country's medical woes.

    The United States is also far behind in adopting modern health information technology, which translates into spiralling costs and poor care.

    "We pride ourselves on being advanced on so many areas of technology but it's not the case on health information technology," Davis said. "Other countries have just moved ahead."

    Britain got the top score in overall ranking among the countries in the study, followed by Germany. New Zealand and Australia tied for third followed by Canada and the United States.

    The second study delves into why health costs in the United States are so much higher than in eight other countries of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development: Australia, Britain, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, the Netherlands and New Zealand.

    The study, "Multinational Comparisons of Health Systems Data," found that even though the US spends the most on publicly and privately financed health insurance, its citizens had the most potential years of life lost due to circulatory and respiratory diseases as well as diabetes.

    "This study blows a lot of myths about the US health system," Davis said. "We spend three times what the average country spends on a day of hospital care and we also spend twice what the average country spends on prescription medication."

    Health care is likely to be a prominent issue in the 2008 US presidential elections with various candidates already promising to tackle rising costs and the burden placed on big business to provide health insurance.


    www.yahoo.com/s/afp/ushealthgovernmentpolitics

  2. #2
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    Nov 2003
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    Re: US Health System Ranks Last-

    I can't wait for Michael Moore's latest movie "Sicko" to come out. Hopefully, the controversial nature of the movie and its ultimate success will get a good national dialogue about the poor quality of our healthcare going....

    A Fox News review of Sicko:

    http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,273875,00.html

    You might be surrpised about how positively the Fox news reviewer talks about the film....
    "It's hard for your opponent to tell lies about you if your fist is in his mouth."

    --Bill Clinton

  3. #3
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    Dec 1997
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    602

    Re: US Health System Ranks Last-

    It will be interesting to see how MA and CA health insurance programs work. By July in MA, everyone has to have some type of health insurance. I'm not sure what CA program looks like but it seems like the states are starting to understand that they need to deal with the issue in some manner. Probably take the federal government a while to catch up. And maybe it is better for eachs state to come up with a program tailored for them. A program that works well for CA may not be good for a sparsely populated state such as Montana or a smaller, densely populated state like Connecticut.

  4. #4
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    Jun 2003
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    Post how convenient for them to leave out the shortcomings

    of these "perfect systems"

    people dying while waiting on heart surgeries and such...

    where would world medicine be without the research and development done here in the U.S.?

    just one hospital in Dallas last year absorbed 12 million dollars just in providing free maternity ward care for illegals showing up to have babies...

    so much is left out here...

  5. #5
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    Re: how convenient for them to leave out the shortcomings

    "The US ranked last in most areas, including access to health care, patient safety, timeliness of care, efficiency and equity. Americans were also last in terms of whether they had a regular physician.

    "The US spends twice what the average industrialized country spends on health care but we're clearly not getting value for the money," Davis told AFP."

    Sure, bigeasy- our health care system is great if you need a complicated procedure or the latest surgery innovation. And if you can afford it. But for what most Americans need- it's not so great.
    Why does it have to be either/or? Why can't the wealthiest industrialized nation in the world take care of the basic health care needs of all its citizens....as well as lead the way in health care technology and progress?
    It's embarrassing that a country as developed and rich as ours is lagging so far behind others- and we are falling behind all the time. Embarrassing and unconsciable. We can do much better.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 1997
    Posts
    602

    Re: US Health System Ranks Last-

    I don't think anyone said any system was perfect just that use paying twice as much money as other countries might indicate we have something wrong. No system will be perfect; however having a vast number of uninsured people is costing us money. They can't afford yearly physicals and basic preventive medicine so we end up paying when they end up in the emergency room. Seems messed up. As I said before, the states are realizing this is an issue. The MA healthcare system got through with a Republican Gov....Romney so it appears that there is some enlightenment from both sides.

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