Wednesday, June 23, 2010

U.S. Spends Most on the Worst Health Care

Big surprise? Those who flippantly or strategically state that "Obama-care" is full-on socialized medicine need to re-think their statements and ideology. Not that health care will be revolutionized in the U.S. under Obama, but by looking at this latest piece I caught over on NPR, we need drastic change.

According to a
Commonwealth Fund study (be sure to clink on the link and see the graphic), the U.S. spends the most per capita in comparison to six other high-income countries. However, our overall ranking is last. The rankings, presented below, are based on an equation accounting for quality care, access, efficiency, equity, and patients' lives (the way those contructs are operationalized can be seen at the webpage by clicking on "view indicators"):

Health Expendituers/Capita (2007):
  1. Netherlands ($3,837)
  2. United Kingdom ($2,992)
  3. Australia ($3,357)
  4. Germany ($3,588)
  5. New Zealand ($2,454)
  6. Canada ($3,895)
  7. United States ($7,290)

The U.S. scored last on every indicator except "quality care," where it scored 6th, edging out Canada. Those who argue that by leaning a tiny bit more towards socialized medicine, the quality will decrease, are terribly misguided. We currently spend over twice as much in health care per capita than the U.K., Australia, Germany, and New Zealand, and nearly twice as much as the Netherlands and Canada. Neverthelss, all those countries with the exception of Canada have higher quality care than the U.S. Moreover, every country, including Canada, outranks the U.S. on the other constructs. Wake up people.

Academics Blogs


  1. Someone should write an ethnography on UFC 115.