Monday, April 26, 2021

CRITICAL CARE - America vs the World

NOTE:  U.S. healthcare costs are considerably higher than other countries as a share of GDP, among other measures.  According to the OECD, U.S. healthcare costs in 2015 were 16.9% GDP, over 5% GDP higher than the next most expensive OECD country.  A gap of 5% GDP represents $1 trillion, about $3,000 per person or one-third higher relative to the next most expensive country.

The high cost of health care in the United States is attributed variously to technological advance, administration costs, drug pricing, suppliers charging more for medical equipment, the receiving of more medical care than people in other countries, the high wages of doctors, government regulations, the impact of lawsuits, and third party payment systems insulating consumers from the full cost of treatments.  The lowest prices for pharmaceuticals, medical devices, and payments to physicians are in government plans.  Americans tend to receive more medical care than people do in other countries, which is a notable contributor to higher costs.  In the United States, a person is more likely to receive open heart surgery after a heart attack than in other countries.  Medicaid pays less than Medicare for many prescription drugs due to the fact Medicaid discounts are set by law, whereas Medicare prices are negotiated by private insurers and drug companies.  Government plans often pay less than overhead, resulting in healthcare providers shifting the cost to the privately insured through higher prices.  - Wikipedia

"The U.S. spends nearly $4 trillion on health care, but inequities still exist.  Here’s why.PBS NewsHour 4/21/2021


SUMMARY:  The U.S. spends nearly $4 trillion on health care, yet inequities in care continue to persist.  With 30 million Americans uninsured during the pandemic, is universal health care the answer?  William Brangham explores the matter in our new documentary, "Critical Care: America vs. The World."  He joins Judy Woodruff to preview and discuss the special.

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