The United States spends more money on health care than any other country, over $2 trillion dollars in 2007
). That's more than $7,000 per person. What are we getting for all
that money, I wonder?
We are not getting high quality health care. According to the CIA World Factbook, we rank #50 in life expectancy
). We come in after Bosnia/Hetzegovina, which I
find discouraging because they're still fighting over there.
We came in after Canada - which was #8 on the list. That probably tells us something about their health care system. We came in after the United
Kingdom - #36. So, OK, their health care system may not be top-notch, but they still beat us. And everybody there gets medical treatment.
Australia, which also has national health service, came in as #7.
I don't know how much these countries are spending on health care, but I can guarantee you, no one else is spending $2.2 trillion. I seriously doubt
anyone's spending $7000 per person each year, either. They're still healthier than we are. Why is that?
Well, I have a couple of thoughts on that. First, they're not going to the doctor as much. Probably they don't run to the doctor with every little
problem, like we do. They go for checkups, and when they're actually sick. That weeds out a lot of unnecessary, expensive visits, and it cuts
costs. It also reduces the number of times you're exposed to the many dangers of medical treatment - including medical errors, prescription
mistakes, adverse drug reactions, antibiotic-resistant infections, and so on.
Second, their governments aren't quite as sympathetic to Big Pharma. They require the use of proven medications, and leave off the experimental
drugs, the unproven but expensive newer ones, and the patented repackaged old drugs. Fewer people are used as guinea pigs; fewer people receive
unniecessary and often dangerous drugs. Fewer people die as a result.
If this doesn't show that our health care system is broken, I cannot imagine what would show that.