Thursday, March 12, 2009

The Truth About our Health care

For years progressives have been talking about America's awful health care system. But the constant reply from conservatives was "we have the best health care in the world." It was never true. Finally, everyone is now on the same page: our health care system is terribly expensive compared to the rest of the world and we are not more healthy because of it. We get this from the Business Roundtable:
Americans spend $2.4 trillion a year on health care. The Business Roundtable report says Americans in 2006 spent $1,928 per capita on health care, at least two-and-a-half times more per person than any other advanced country.

In a different twist, the report took those costs and factored benefits into the equation.

It compares statistics on life expectancy, death rates and even cholesterol readings and blood pressures. The health measures are factored together with costs into a 100-point "value" scale. That hasn't been done before, the authors said.

The results are not encouraging.

The United States is 23 points behind five leading economic competitors: Canada, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom and France. The five nations cover all their citizens, and though their systems differ, in each country the government plays a much larger role than in the U.S.

The cost-benefit disparity is even wider — 46 points — when the U.S. is compared with emerging competitors: China, Brazil and India.

This is what has needed to happen. Business leaders, mostly conservative, are being killed by health care costs. When they say "enough is enough" there is hope for change.

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