Despite having the most expensive healthcare system in the world, United States healthcare ranks horribly when compared to other counties in terms of quality and effectiveness.
In 2014, The Commonwealth Fund conducted an extensive study comparing 11 different countries based on their healthcare systems. The United States ranked dead last.
- United Kingdom
- Germany & Netherlands (tied)
- New Zealand & Norway (tied)
- United States
It is certainly no secret that Americans pay more for their healthcare. However, there are a lot of naïve individuals who falsely believe they are paying more to receive “more” or “better” healthcare. The evidence dug up in this study clearly suggests otherwise.
Quality of Care
When determining how well a country did when it comes to quality of care, the study looked at four different categories: effective care, safe care, coordinated care, and patient-centered care. Compared to the other 10 countries, the United States only ranked really well on preventative and patient centered care.
Access of Care
Given the lack of universal coverage in the United States, it is not surprising so many people in the United States go without healthcare –even when they really need it. This is largely because of how much more receiving healthcare costs in the United States than in other countries.
Equity of Care
Again, given the lack of universal coverage, low income adults in the United States frequently report not receiving healthcare for the majority of their life because it is too expensive.
It should come as no shock that the US ranks poorly when it comes to “healthy living”. This is determined by mortality that was amendable with medical care, healthy life expectancy, and infant mortality rank. The truth is, people in France, Sweden, and Switzerland live much longer and healthier lives than those people in the United States.
I think what Bernie Sanders said on Twitter or in this very short video clip is better than anything anyone else could say. It is an embarrassment that a country that claims to be so advanced and so rich and so…. much better than everyone else still sees healthcare as a privilege instead of a right. Do you think there will ever be a time in the United States where a sick person can just go to the doctor and get help?
Government Insurance Doesn’t Make It Easier
Low income families are entitled to Medicare/Medicaid depending on what their income is, their family size, and the state they live in. I can tell you first hand that having that government insurance doesn’t make a difference. Personally, my husband has Medicaid, my son has Medicaid, and I have some weird “pregnancy” Medicaid. My son is special needs and there’s so much therapy he could get and specialists he could be seeing, but can’t because his insurance won’t cover it and we are a low income family (hence being on the government insurance in the first place). Then, you have to deal with the hassle of finding a doctor or clinic that will even take the insurance you have. Truthfully, a lot of them aren’t going to.
Obviously, I’m just one person. However, I’m coming to you with facts, figures, statistics, and the support of an extensive study that shows just how poorly the United States ranks when compared to the rest of the world. Furthermore, I just don’t know anyone who is happy with their healthcare insurance or receives quality care for all their ailments that lives anywhere in the United States. Isn’t it time for a change? When will it change?
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