Big Lie #1 – “We have the best Health Care in the World”
WRONG! For some reason as American's we like to think we are number one in everything. In many ways we have become very myopic in looking at our peer nations. Our consistent belief that “we are the best” colors the lens in which we look at others. Maybe we have spent too much time looking down our noses at our international competitors and it is time to see how the other half is living. When it comes to health care, among peer industrialized nations the US health care system is the worst based on numerous studies that have been performed by a number of highly respected groups.
The reports are reference in this article and I strongly suggest that you check them out. Easy to find on the internet.
US health care consistently ranks poorly, last or near last, in comparison with our peer industrialized nations.
Our incredibly biased media (consolidated top down reporting) receives an enormous amount of money from the health industrial complex in the United States (Insurance and Pharmaceuticals). It would be difficult for them to launch a well researched truthful campaign against the Health Care Industry, so we receive biased, tilted information or none at all.
Big money means unreliable information. If you find people trying to defend the health insurance or pharmaceutical systems, my recommendation is that you “follow the money”. Find out if the person giving you the information is a financial recipient of health care dollars. If they are investigate what they are telling you.
So here is some information for you, again don’t take my word for it, pull up the reports and do a little reading:
May 2007 Commonwealth Fund Report:
Ranked the United States performance on 37th indicators, 11 based on international comparisons 5 dimensions of Health Care including “Quality, access, efficiency, equity and health lives” in the report:
* United States ranks last overall across the five dimensions of a high performance health system.
* The US ranks last in providing Safe Care
* Last in healthy lives (much higher death rates from conditions amenable to medical care)
* Tied for last in managing chronic illness
* US population most likely to go without needed care because of cost (over 51% said they had problems getting a recommended test, treatment or follow-up care)
* Clearly ranked last in all measures of equity
* Ranked poorly on measures of health expenditures, administrative cost expenditures
* Ranked poorly on use of information technology
* Ranked poorly on use of multidisciplinary teams
In the Commissions National Health Care Scorecard:
* “In the US, more people visit the Emergency Room for conditions that could be treated by a regular doctor"
* Adults tend to wait longer and be sicker before seeking care (Including Canada, France, Britain)
* 2/5’s of lower income adults went without needed care [not filling a prescription, not seeing a dentist]
* US rarely outperforms other nations on most quality of care measures
* Even among insured more likely than counterparts in other countries to report problems such as not getting recommended tests or prescriptions
* Reflects High out of pocket cots even among the insured
* US population most likely to have “fragmented insurance coverage”
* US only nation that does not have a Universal Health Care system
World Health Organization, 2000 report:
* US Health system ranked 37th in the world
* Ranked 24th in terms of “Health Attainment”
* Ranked 32nd in terms of “equity of health outcomes”
Ranked 54th in terms of fairness of financial contributions