Canaries in the Mine

Some myths about U.S. Health Care from Paul Campos:

  • “The government doesn’t pay for health care.  In fact, in America the government pays more for health care, per person, than any other government in the world, including the governments of countries that provide comprehensive cradle to grave health care for all their citizens. Yet despite this very high level of government spending, nearly one out of six Americans has no health care coverage of any kind.”

  • “Unlike in nations with “socialized medicine,” Americans have the freedom to choose their own doctors.  It’s a tribute to the power of ideology that people who haven’t had the freedom to choose their own doctor in decades don’t notice that this claim is flatly untrue. The vast majority of Americans under the age of 65 who have health insurance at all are enrolled in group health plans that severely restrict their health care choices at every turn.”

  • “American health care is expensive because it’s of such high quality.  Well it’s certainly expensive: the U.S. spends about twice as much, per person, on health care, as other developed nations. Indeed, despite being the richest nation in the world, we spend a higher percentage of our GDP on health care than anybody else.  And what do we get in return for having what is by far the world’s most expensive system? Lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality rates, and fewer physicians and nurses per capita than the average developed nation.”

Conservatives point out  that there are also disparities in health care in countries with various national health approaches. But this doesn’t fully explain our mediocrity given our expenditures.

 What is not in dispute  is that the disparity in health care  is greater in the U.S. and that our costs almost double that of other industrialized countries.  Moreover, uncontrolled health care costs will bankrupt us (GM and Ford are the canaries in the mine),  or result in excessive mortality from lack of access to expensive care unless something is done. 


One response to “Canaries in the Mine

  1. Pingback: » Blog Archive » Hospital Costs in Context

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