Health care in the U.S. is slowly crumbling. Everyone (except those who are exceptionally financially secure) is dissatisfied, including patients. This report of an article in Health Affairs sums up the patient’s views:
“Chronically ill Americans are more likely to forgo medical care because of high costs or experience medical errors than patients in other affluent countries”
“Fifty-four percent of Americans surveyed said high costs prevented them at some point from getting recommended medical care, filling prescriptions or seeing a doctor when ill. Seven percent of the Dutch cited cost as a barrier to treatment.”
“In addition, 41 percent of the U.S. patients said they spent more than $1,000 over the past year on out-of-pocket medical costs. That compared to lows of 4 percent in Britain and 5 percent in France.”
“In short, the U.S. patients are telling us about inefficient, unsafe and often wasteful care. The lack of access, combined with poorly coordinated care, is putting these patients at very high health risk and driving up costs of care.”
Those who defend our health care say “we have the best care in the world.” (attribute to Bush, McCain, Limbaugh and their ilk) They simply don’t operate in the real world.
We have an opportunity here, the question is whether we’ll be able to act on it.