Mark Terry

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Best Healthcare System In The World?

January 24, 2008
As you may have noticed, individuals running for president often make claims that are, frankly, bullshit. My wife and I watched the Iowa debates and noted that just about every candidate said something along the lines of: "Although our healthcare system is broken, it's still the best in the world." There were variations on that, but it was the gist of everybody's statement, despite its inherent contradiction.

I'm working on a white paper about retail-based convenient care clinics and I was reading a paper titled: "Convenient Care Clinics: The Future Of Accessible Health Care" by Tine Hansen-Turton, Sanda Ryan, Ken Miller, Mona Counts and David Nash, and no, I don't imagine readers of this blog care who wrote this paper. Anyway, here's a quote from the paper that I thought was interesting and falls under the category of ONE OF MARK'S PET PEEVES:

"While the U.S. spends more annually on health care than any other country in the world, it still only ranks 37 of 191 in health system performance, according to the World Health Organization 2000 evaluation of health systems worldwide. Most western countries have socialized medicine with minimal baseline health care coverage for all citizens. However in the United States, health care is still primarily employer-based and provided through private health insurance programs. A new report from the Commonwealth Fund shows that 34% of Americans pay more than $1,000 in out-of-pocket medical expenses due to coverage lapses, compared to 14% in Canada and Australia and 4% in the United Kingdom."

We now return you to your regularly scheduled programming.

Mark Terry


Blogger spyscribbler said...

YES! I knew that. Totally pisses me off, but if you ask anyone on the street, I bet you 99% of them will say that we have the BEST healthcare in the world, no contest.

And you know what really takes the cake? If you are uninsured, hospitals charge you THIRTY PERCENT MORE than what they would charge if you're insured.

Ugh. Don't get me started. Sore topic.

8:26 AM  
OpenID eric-mayer said...

Right. America is always the best. Just...well...because America is the best. No proof needed. I was talking about health care with a friend from Canada once and he just gave me a funny look and said, "Health care's never been an issue for me. I've never had to think about it. If you're sick you just go to the doctor." How great would that be?

8:34 AM  
Blogger Melanie Avila said...

This is one of my sore spots, too. I'm currently uninsured since I don't have a job & I'm living in Mexico and I spend LESS for doctor's appointments and prescriptions than I did when I was one of the 'fortunate' ones. Go figure.

8:35 AM  
Blogger Mark Terry said...

Yeah, I'm essentially a healthcare writer and healthcare analyst, and I worked in healthcare for 18 years before turning to writing. Yes, U.S. healthcare pretty much has the best trained physicians, nurses and staff in the world and they generally speaking have the cutting-edge technology, but if you can't access it or afford it, then it's not the "best," it's a problem.

10:35 AM  
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