Thursday, November 03, 2005

We have the best medical system in the world, right?

I'm not so sure if the United States has the best medical system in the world. We definitely have the most expensive health care system in the world.
The survey of nearly 7,000 sick adults in the United States, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Britain and Germany found Americans were the most likely to pay at least $1,000 in out-of-pocket expenses. More than half went without needed care because of cost and more than one-third endured mistakes and disorganized care when they did get treated.
Hmm, maybe socialized medicine has its advantages. Maybe the free market is not the most efficient for the delivery of certain types of services like health care.

The problem is the lack of health insurance for a sizable block of Americans. Uninsured sick people wait until they are really sick to see a doctor and they usually go to the emergency room, the most expensive form of health care. Since the uninsured cannot afford to pay their bills, the hospitals write off the costs. These costs are passed along to the insurance companies who are forced to raise their premiums. More expensive premiums force employers to pass along the cost to their employees or drop health coverage altogether, increasing the number of uninsured. It's the vicious cycle of American health care. Am I the only one who sees this as a problem?

Here's the original study.

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