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How Medicare for All would save us money

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The Observer: American health-care system is ripe for reform

Interestingly, America's primary health insurer is the federal government. By some estimates, one out of every three Americans (as many as 100 million people) already obtain their health insurance from the federal government. Many of these (e.g., military service personnel and veterans) have a form of universal-single-payer insurance, but most of the rest of us shop in the "free market" for health care.

If you were to examine health care in France, Germany, Great Britain, Japan, the Netherlands and Switzerland, you would find that each has virtually 100 percent (universal) coverage. You also would find that medical care is provided more cheaply in each of these countries than it is in the United States. (The following data are from http://www.npr.org/news/ specials/healthcare/healthcare _profiles.html).

Per-capita spending on health care in the U.S. is nearly double what it is in the other six countries ($6,402, compared to an average of $3,314 in the others).

Cost to the U.S. government is also substantially higher ($2,884 per person) than that paid by the other six governments ($1,928 on average).

Further, while most developed countries have supplementary private insurance options, private insurance costs are higher here than elsewhere ($2,676 per person in the U.S., paid more or less evenly by employers and employees).

Out-of-pocket expenses for consumers also are greater in the U.S. ($842 per person here, compared to $442 in the other six countries).

Why is medical care so expensive in the U.S. compared to the rest of the developed world? There are many reasons, but the sheer complexity of our system and the massive bureaucracies necessary to make it function are key. Administrative costs contribute in a substantial way to the expense of health care without materially affecting its quality. The cost of providing health care in this country must be reduced. Having a single source for the collection and disbursement of funds would have that effect.

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Submitted by hipparchia on

There are many reasons, but the sheer complexity of our system and the massive bureaucracies necessary to make it function that the industry piles on, just because it can, are key.

thanks for this one. you saved me from googling something i was just about to go look for.