Thursday, June 26, 2014



The US Has the Most Expensive and Least Effective Health Care in the Developed World

By Tara Culp-Ressler, ThinkProgress
17 June 14

or the fifth time in a row, the United States has been ranked last in a prominent think tank’s review of industrialized nation’s health care systems. Compared to other wealthy countries like Germany, France, Switzerland, and Australia, the U.S. lags far behind when it comes to ensuring health care access, efficiency, and equity:
Among the nations included in the Commonwealth Fund’s survey, the highest percentage of U.S. residents skip out on the medical care they need because they can’t afford it. Thirty-seven percentof Americans said they didn’t fill a prescription, visit a doctor, or seek out recommended medical care because they were worried about the cost; on the other end of the spectrum, just four percent of United Kingdom residents reported skimping on that care for the same concerns. That’s largely because the United States is the only country on the list that doesn’t offer universal health care, leaving a proportion of its population uninsured and unable to pay for medical services out of pocket.
The new report falls in line with previous research that has found Americans pay much more for their health care than the residents in other wealthy nations, even though those high price tags don’t necessarily correlate to better care. And the authors note that while other industrialized nations have enacted policy reforms to nudge their health systems in the right direction, the United States hasn’t significantly improved in these areas over the past decade.
However, the data that contributes to Commonwealth Fund’s survey was collected before Obamacare officially took effect. The authors point out that the “historic legislation” represents an “important first step” to fixing some of the United States’ persistent issues with high costs and lack of access to insurance. The health reform law hopes to expand insurance coverage to millions of Americans who have been locked out of the health care system, and that could finally improve the U.S.’s rankings in areas like access and equity.
But there are still some gaps. Thanks to GOP lawmakers’ resistance to Obamacare’s optional Medicaid expansion, which would extend public insurance to additional struggling Americans, about six million of the country’s poorest residents are still left with no access to affordable health care whatsoever.
“The claim that the United States has ‘the best health care system in the world’ is clearly not true,” the report authors conclude. “To reduce cost and improve outcomes, the U.S. must adopt and adapt lessons from effective health care systems both at home and around the world.”


We are concerned about a recent drift towards vitriol in the RSN Reader comments section. There is a fine line between moderation and censorship. No one likes a harsh or confrontational forum atmosphere. At the same time everyone wants to be able to express themselves freely. We'll start by encouraging good judgment. If that doesn't work we'll have to ramp up the moderation.
General guidelines: Avoid personal attacks on other forum members; Avoid remarks that are ethnically derogatory; Do not advocate violence, or any illegal activity.
Remember that making the world better begins with responsible action.
- The RSN Team
+18# fredboy 2014-06-17 07:12
Finally we can counter-argue the typical BS mantra, "But we have the BEST healthcare system in the world."

No we don't. It is a mess. And a dirty mess too (like the time I was having minor surgery and looked up to see a massive dust bunny--hell, a dust rabbit--flailin g in the vent breeze directly above me).
+32# DD1946 2014-06-17 07:30
It can't change till health is about health, not profits!
+8# lorenbliss 2014-06-17 11:15
Absolutely. The health-care difference between the civilized world and the United States is that in the civilized world, health care is intended to genuinely care for the people. But in the U.S., what is deceptively labeled “health care” actually has an antithetical purpose. It exists (A)-to make the obscenely wealthy aristocracy wealthier and (B)-to exterminate lower-income people by defining health care as a privilege of wealth rather than a basic human right. 

Moreover, the Affordable Care Act – so-called “Obamacare” – does nothing to change the U.S. system's genocidal Ayn Rand dynamics. In fact it locks them in place forever. 

By making health insurance mandatory, it enables USian propagandists to generate the Big Lie of near-universal insurance. But its profit-boosting co-pays and deductibles still make health care prohibitively expensive. Hence its victims – and that is precisely what we are – are now forced to pay for insurance we can never afford to use. The result is the huge windfall with which Barack the Betrayer gifted the insurance barons.

It is also a classic example of the miasma of lies, disinformation and murder by which capitalism perpetuates its bottomless evil – infinite greed elevated to maximum virtue – the morally imbecilic rejection of every humanitarian precept our species has ever expressed.