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A number of recent studies have compared the health systems of various countries. Using information and concepts from these studies, it is possible to evaluate the health care system of the U.S. and other countries, with respect to such fundamental issues as cost, access to health care, and how well the health system succeeds in producing good health outcomes in a population.
1) COST: The United States has by far the most expensive health care system in the world, based on health expenditures per capita (per person), and on total expenditures as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP).
2) ACCESS to health care: The U.S. is "the only country in the developed world, except for South Africa, that does not provide health care for all of its citizens."
3) HEALTH AND WELL-BEING: There are many different indicators of the overall health status and well-being of a country’s population, but among the most commonly used measures are infant mortality rates, and life expectancy,The infant mortality rate in the United States was 7.2 infant deaths per 1,000 live births. Although this number is a historic low for the U.S., our infant mortality rate is nonetheless the highest among the OECD countries. In 1996, the U.S. ranked 26th among industrialized countries for infant mortality rates. The WHO figures also show that the U.S. ranks very low (24th) on disability-adjusted life expectancy among high-income OECD countries.
We have a confusing hodgepodge of private insurance coverage based primarily on employment, along with public insurance coverage for the elderly (Medicare), the military, veterans, and for the poor and disabled (Medicaid, which varies greatly in its implementation across states). Such a "non-system" creates serious gaps in coverage. And as insurance rates rise, more and more employers are forced to either drop their insurance benefits altogether, or to raise premiums and deductibles.