Originally Posted by surftheiop
This may be common knowledge to a lot of people, but did you all know the Universal Coverage countries governments spend a smaller percent of their budgets on healthcare than the US government does? (Which is especially crazy considering how huge our defense spending is which really increases our total budget compared to all of these other places)
Interesting chart I found on wikipedia, scroll halfway down link.
USA government spends 18.5% of budget on healthcare which is a higher percent than Norway, Sweden, Italy, UK, France, Japan, Germany, Canada.
And our healthcare costs as percent of GDP are almost twice that of most of those countries.
Cue the usual responses:
1. Yeah, well, you have to wait in Canada.
2. We spend more because we're fatter.
3. We have more technology, like CT scanners.
4. Our population is less homogenous.
Some possible retorts:
1. We have better wait times for specialist care, but we pretty much drop the ball with routine stuff
I reckon this reflects our push for treatment-based medicine, but is it really the measure of a good health system?
1A. How are the wait times for non-emergent procedures when you're uninsured?
2. We are fatter, but we have significantly lower rates of smoking and alcoholism than most other developed nations, and our cardiovascular disease is middle-of-the-pack. As much as we would all like to simply blame McDonald's and be done with it, this approach isn't exactly rigorous (read it's intellectually lazy wishful thinking)
2A. The relationship of chronic diseases to health spending is controversial, since sick people who die young stop consuming resources. It's like how not all preventative care saves money, only in reverse.
3. Look up how many CT scanners we have per capita. Now look up Japan.
4. Never have figured out why a lack of "homogeneity" would significantly drive health costs.
If you want a better picture of why our health system is so expensive, I will leave you with two graphs. UC could address one of them... the other is more difficult.