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What the US spends on Healthcare vs what it actually gets in return

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    The Commonwealth Fund published this research paper called 'U.S. Health Care from a Global Perspective'. It makes you really, really think about what the U.S. spends vs what it actually gets on healthcare overall as a country. The numbers and findings are staggering to be honest. And pretty disheartening. A serious and fundamental change is desperately needed here.

    They compare many key metrics to 13 other 'high-income' countries, being:

    Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.

    The most salient point made - The United States spends far and away the most on healthcare vs any of these countries. And their findings show that we get considerably less for spending by far the most, as a country.

    Check out this graph of what countries spend on healthcare, as a % of their GDP:

    Squires OECD Exhibit 01

    And we don't even have universal healthcare, just a patchwork system of programs to help Americans get health insurance access and discounts and coverage and whatnot. So why do we continue to operate like this? If it's so obvious we are spending more and getting far less, why can't we have a serious conversation about universal healthcare, as other countries employing it are having better results across the board than us?

    Check out that study and let me know what you think.

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    J.K.Logic Wrote: And we don't even have universal healthcare, just a patchwork system of programs to help Americans get health insurance access and discounts and coverage and whatnot. So why do we continue to operate like this? If it's so obvious we are spending more and getting far less, why can't we have a serious conversation about universal healthcare, as other countries employing it are having better results across the board than us?

    This question has baffled me before, during, and after I wrote my college thesis paper on this topic. We spend more money per person than any other country in the world yet have some of the lowest rankings of access to care and affordability than any other industrialized country in the world.

    I hate to bring politics into this discussion, but it's impossible to ignore politics when it's so intertwined in the discussion. Our government made a very deliberate choice to operate a for profit healthcare system decades ago and chose to have a system where healthcare wasn't a right, but a privilege.

    Obamacare did help alleviate some of these issues by mandating that insurance companies couldn't deny someone simply because they had a preexisting condition, but there wasn't enough votes to pass what President Obama stated he wanted, which was the public option. (Obama later even went further and said that he would have loved to have a single-payer system similar to the rest of the industrialized world, but knew that idea was dead on arrival in Congress.)

    What Obamacare didn't do very well was tackle costs of services. An MRI in one hospital may cost $500 while an MRI in another hospital in the same city may cost $1,500. The list goes on and on (and on). If we really want to fix the healthcare system we have to start with cost control, but that just isn't politically possible right now.

    Then we need to begin an attempt to change the hearts and minds of voters. "Medicare for All" polls a heck of a lot better than "Socialized Healthcare," but a lot of people don't understand that they are the same exact thing.