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Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

US Health Care Ranks Last....Again

Posted by on Jun. 17, 2014 at 11:44 AM
  • 171 Replies

U.S. Healthcare Ranked Dead Last Compared To 10 Other Countries

 

Earlier this year, Cadillac ran a controversial TV ad that first aired during the opening ceremonies of the 2014 Winter Olympics. It was called "Poolside" and featured actor Neal McDonough extolling America's work ethic over other countries - specifically France.

Turns out that many of those "other countries" (including France) score better than the U.S. in at least one key metric not included in Cadillac's TV spot - healthcare. At least that's according to The Commonwealth Fund in their latest report "Mirror, Mirror On The Wall - 2014 Update" (pdf here).

For this year's survey on overall health care, The Commonwealth Fund ranked the U.S. dead last  .

1. United Kingdom
2. Switzerland
3. Sweden
4. Australia
5. Germany & Netherlands (tied)
7. New Zealand & Norway (tied)
9. France
10. Canada
11. United States

It's fairly well accepted that the U.S. is the most expensive healthcare system in the world, but many continue to falsely assume that we pay more for healthcare because we get better health (or better health outcomes). The evidence, however, clearly doesn't support that view.

TCFchart

The report itself is fairly short (32 pages), but included prior surveys and national health system scorecards as well as data from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The report also included a list of major findings (abbreviated here):

Quality: The indicators of quality were grouped into four categories: effective care, safe care, coordinated care, and patient-centered care. Compared with the other 10 countries, the U.S. fares best on provision and receipt of preventive and patient-centered care.

Access: Not surprisingly - given the absence of universal coverage - people in the U.S. go without needed health care because of cost more often than people do in the other countries.

Efficiency: On indicators of efficiency, the U.S. ranks last among the 11 countries, with the U.K. and Sweden ranking first and second, respectively. The U.S. has poor performance on measures of national health expenditures and administrative costs as well as on measures of administrative hassles, avoidable emergency room use, and duplicative medical testing.

Equity: The U.S. ranks a clear last on measures of equity. Americans with below-average incomes were much more likely than their counterparts in other countries to report not visiting a physician when sick; not getting a recommended test, treatment, or follow-up care; or not filling a prescription or skipping doses when needed because of costs. On each of these indicators, one-third or more lower-income adults in the U.S. said they went without needed care because of costs in the past year.

Healthy lives: The U.S. ranks last overall with poor scores on all three indicators of healthy lives - mortality amenable to medical care, infant mortality, and healthy life expectancy at age 60. Overall, France, Sweden, and Switzerland rank highest on healthy lives.

Perhaps the biggest single takeaway was this one:

The most notable way the U.S. differs from other industrialized countries is the absence of universal health insurance coverage. Other nations ensure the accessibility of care through universal health systems and through better ties between patients and the physician practices that serve as their medical homes. The Commonwealth Fund "Mirror, Mirror On The Wall - 2014 Update" 

Unfortunately, many still equate "universal healthcare" with "Government run" or "single payer" healthcare. It isn't (Universal Coverage Is Not "Single Payer" Healthcarehere).

All of which makes Cadillac's advertising chutzpah even more brazen. After all, it was just seven short months ago that the Government "bailout" of GM officially ended. One of the more commonly cited reasons for the dire financial predicament of the auto industry was always - yup - ballooning healthcare costs. Just as Starbucks spends more on healthcare benefits than coffee beans (here) - GM (at least in 2005) spent more on healthcare benefits than steel (here).

The U.S. excels in many areas, but clearly population health (and all it's components) isn't one of them. N'est-ce pas?

by on Jun. 17, 2014 at 11:44 AM
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Replies (1-10):
Momniscient
by Ruby Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 11:46 AM
Disturbing
idunno1234
by Silver Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 11:49 AM

 And consistent:

" Among the 11 nations studied in this report—Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States—the U.S. ranks last, as it did in the 2010, 2007, 2006, and 2004 editions of Mirror, Mirror."

Quoting Momniscient: Disturbing

 

Momniscient
by Ruby Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 11:53 AM
5 moms liked this
And yet we still don't reform. America is a land where words and ideology are far more important than people it seems

Quoting idunno1234:

 And consistent:


" Among the 11 nations studied in this report—Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States—the U.S. ranks last, as it did in the 2010, 2007, 2006, and 2004 editions of Mirror, Mirror."


Quoting Momniscient: Disturbing

 

Billiejeens
by Gold Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 12:19 PM
5 moms liked this

That can't be right.

Our very fine President fixed all that.

idunno1234
by Silver Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 7:29 PM
4 moms liked this

Does this really not bother anyone else that our healthcare has consistently ranked last compared to other industrialized nations when we pay more than anyone else in the world?

Ideas/solutions/anything from anyone (other than criticizing the current POTUS who has nothing to do with it, even with the ACA debacle)?

erika9009
by Bronze Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 7:39 PM
5 moms liked this

I thought ObamaCare had all that dialed in

30 million Americans that were uninsured are now insured.

We should be at the top.

Oh, then we have the single payer government system called the VA.  I guess that drug us down, bummer.

Quoting Billiejeens:

That can't be right.

Our very fine President fixed all that.


____________________________________________________

Erika..

The best things in life are not things.

LucyMom08
by Gold Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 7:42 PM
Awful.
Posted on CafeMom Mobile
erika9009
by Bronze Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 7:43 PM

So we are effective and fast, just not for every American.



LucyMom08
by Gold Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 7:43 PM
So what do you propose?

Quoting Billiejeens:

That can't be right.


Our very fine President fixed all that.

Posted on CafeMom Mobile
idunno1234
by Silver Member on Jun. 17, 2014 at 7:52 PM

 Where did you read that? 

Quoting erika9009:

So we are effective and fast, just not for every American.

 

 

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