Best way to counter "US has spends more than other countries on healthcare with worse results"?

johnfree7

2+ Year Member
Jan 4, 2016
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Other Health Professions Student
I frequently hear the argument the US healthcare system needs to radically change because we spend so much more than other high-income countries with equal if not worse health outcomes for the general population. They bring up US life expectancy (US is around 78 vs. 80+ in other first world countries), infant mortality rates (5.8/1000 vs 3.6/1000), obesity rate, comparable survival rates from heart disease, cancer, etc. equally if not more prevalent mental health issues coupled with higher treatment costs, higher diagnostic imaging costs, as well as the high cost of procedures such as cesarean births or knee replacements with no better quality of care. They seem to forget the value of healthcare innovation in the US and less wait times, but what's the best way to counter this argument?
 
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VA Hopeful Dr

Senior Member
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Jul 28, 2004
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Our obesity rate (and thus all of the downstream effects of this like diabetes, CV disease, and so on) is significantly higher than other OECD countries. This also is likely a large part of our infant mortality problem.

If you remove car wrecks and murders, out life expectancy is higher than everyone else.

Our 5 year survival rates for common cancers is higher than everyone else. The Myth of Americans' Poor Life Expectancy

That should get you started.
 
Sep 23, 2018
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Attending Physician
Turn off the TV (and its nauseating continuous news stream channels) and invest the extra time in a new hobby you enjoy.
 
Jul 30, 2018
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We spend more for the same outcomes

What outcomes?

Spend more on what exactly?

Healthcare in Washington DC has essentially been a non stop issue for the last 10 years. After single payer is passed, it will be just as all consuming.
 

Sushirolls

7+ Year Member
Feb 24, 2010
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I frequently hear the argument the US healthcare system needs to radically change because we spend so much more than other high-income countries with equal if not worse health outcomes for the general population. They bring up US life expectancy (US is around 78 vs. 80+ in other first world countries), infant mortality rates (5.8/1000 vs 3.6/1000), obesity rate, comparable survival rates from heart disease, cancer, etc. equally if not more prevalent mental health issues coupled with higher treatment costs, higher diagnostic imaging costs, as well as the high cost of procedures such as cesarean births or knee replacements with no better quality of care. They seem to forget the value of healthcare innovation in the US and less wait times, but what's the best way to counter this argument?
"We as Americans value freedom and our ability to exercise lawyers instead of ourselves. We preserve the right to make bad lifestyle choices, and we do. Freedom isn't ever free, and our health stats are further evidence of the price we pay to stay free." "Where's my cigar, McDonalds, lazy boy recliner, Jack Daniels, and HBO?"