Let’s compare a few points about U.S. healthcare to similarly large and wealthy countries across the globe.
- On average other similar countries spend half as much as the United States on healthcare per person; something like a $5,000 difference per capita.
- On average people in the US visit the doctor fewer times per year. 3.6 times compared to an average of 7.2 times per year in similar countries. Why though? It’s not like were less sick.
- The U.S. has a significantly higher prices for most common procedures, than other comparable countries. Some procedures are almost, such as appendectomies, are twice as high in the U.S. than in the next highest priced country.
I could go on all day with these figures, but the core of my point is that all of these comparable countries provide these resources at free or reduced costs, and still manage to do just fine. In fact the only thing the United States seems to do better, is providing shorter wait times for patients. I’m not complaining, but if I could choose between paying $2,000 for a hospital visit, and waiting a bit longer in that depressing waiting room, I’ll take the latter. Also, I’m not convinced that this isn’t because of the fact that less people are going to hospitals in the U.S. to begin with, I’ll have to check on that.
What is the issue, and why can we not do the same thing as everyone else? That is the fundamental question, and I don’t think I’m qualified to answer it. In the meantime, I will say that it is majorly- parents excuse my profanity- not okay.