With the exception of two other countries, out of all the OECD countries, the U.S. doesn’t have universal healthcare. That’s fine. The U.S. doesn’t have to do everything the OECD countries do. But the current system? There has got to be a better way. Something. Anything. It’s better than, “bite down on this piece of bark.”
Here are some statistics for fun: Yes, the United States is #3 on the list of healthcare spending per capita ($8,608 per person). But Norway ($9,715) and Switzerland ($9,276) are in the top 2, and they both have universal healthcare. In fact, 58 countries in the world have universal healthcare, and they’re all near the top of the healthcare spending per capita list as well.
Healthcare is simply expensive.
The U.S. is #10 on the list of wealthiest countries in the world with a median household income of $53,657.
60-65% of healthcare spending goes to the poor, the disabled, children, senior citizens and veterans. These populations require more health care than the other 35-40% of the population. Poor people have higher rates of health problems, as well as the disabled and senior citizens. Children require vaccines and check ups, and veterans are dying while on a waiting list to get medical care at VA hospitals.
The U.S. does spend the most as a percentage of our GDP, by far.
“Of 17 high income countries studied by the National Institutes of Health in 2013, the United States has the highest or near-highest prevalence of obesity, car accidents, infant mortality, heart and lung disease, sexually transmitted infections, adolescent pregnancies, injuries, and homicides.”
Here are some good things:
We are good at medical technology that’s really expensive. We are better at treating people with cancer, diabetes, high cholesterol, and high blood pressure than other developed countries. We’ve also received more Nobel prizes in medicine than any other country in the world.
So it’s not all bad. But that stuff is really, really expensive.
Some more unfortunate facts though?
62% of people in the U.S. file for bankruptcy due to medical debt. 1 in 4 senior citizens declare bankruptcy due to healthcare expenses. And 43% of those people have to sell their homes or mortgage them.
My thoughts as to why healthcare is so expensive is that we have way more unhealthy people than healthy people. 2/3 of the population is overweight or obese. American food tastes good, but it’s garbage food that belongs in the trash if you want to live.
With insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, and Social Security, it requires more money coming in than is going out. This is the definition of a Ponzi scheme. So insurance companies cut corners. They raise their prices, pay medical field workers such as doctors less (leading to physicians leaving the industry), and cover less services.