National Geographic image
The United States spends more on medical care per person than any country, yet life expectancy is shorter than in most other developed nations and many developing ones. Lack of health insurance is a factor in life span and contributes to an estimated 45,000 deaths a year. Why the high cost? The U.S. has a fee-for-service system—paying medical providers piecemeal for appointments, surgery, and the like. That can lead to unneeded treatment that doesn’t reliably improve a patient’s health. Says Gerard Anderson, a professor at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health who studies health insurance worldwide, “More care does not necessarily mean better care.” —Michelle Andrews
Clink on the link above to see the full image – the image below is readable, but the right side was clipped for some reason.
For those of you who don’t have time to study this chart — I’ll mention some of the numbers and comparisons that stand out.
This chart/graph on the right side compares the average life expectancy at birth of individuals in each countries. On the left side is the per person spending on health care. Note that the US spends the most and Mexico spends the least. The red lines are the countries without Universal Health Coverage, the blue lines show the countries with Universal Health Coverage. Both the US and Mexico are red line countries, they have no Universal Health care coverage.
On the right Britain ranks in the mid-point or average with a life expectancy of 79.2 years and with health care costs of $2,966 per year.
The thickness of the lines show doctor visits per year. The thin lines show 0 to 3 visits and the 2nd size line is from 4 to 7 doctor visits per year. The 3rd line represents 8 to 11 visits doctor visits per year. The 4th line represents 12+ visits per year.
Japan spends $2,581 per person per year and are one of two countries with 12+ doctor visits per person per year with a life expectancy of 83 years. Sweden $3,323 per person per year on health care and has less than 4 doctor visits per year, their life expectancy is 81 years. Mexico (a red line Nation) spends $823 per person with a life expectancy of a little more than 75 years and zero to 3 doctor visits per year.
The US spend $7290 per year per person, doctor visits are from zero to 3 per year. Life expectancy is 78 years (only 3 years better than the Life expectancy of Mexico which spends the least per person of countries compared). The US is the other red line Country without Universal Health Care Coverage.
In the US we know that some people rarely visit the doctor and that about 43 million have no health care coverage. We also know that there is an effort on the part of Congress and the President to tax the “high value” company (workplace or job related) supplied health insurance. The theory is that the high value insurance is supposed to fund the cost of insurance for the currently uninsured.
Something is terribly wrong with the American health care system — we have the most costly per person, yet 43 million do not have any health care coverage. There is a gap of $2,873 between the US and Switzerland, with Switzerland spending $4,417 per Individual on Health Care Coverage. That gap $2,873 is about what the UK pays per person in health care costs. Could it be that the $2,873 gap between Switzerland and the US is the amount that goes into “overhead” the middle men who “manage” the Health Insurance system? With multiple Health Insurance companies requiring medical professionals to hire more staff to deal with all the Insurance rules and regulations and fine print — there is a whole layer of . . . mess . . . between patients and doctors. Nothing in the Health care bill that we are being threatened with addresses the over bloated insurance mess. $2,873 is a heck of a lot of money.
“Dollar figures reflect all public and private spending on care, from doctor visits to hospital infrastructure. Data are from 2007 or the most recent year available.”