The Commonwealth Fund just released an update to its healthcare survey of 11 advanced nations. The U.S. is once again the “cellar dweller” in last place.
We can see that the UK spends only 40% per person what we do. Looked at another way we spend 2 ½ times per person what they do. Yet they are in first place.
Last year the Commonwealth Fund did a satisfaction survey in the 11 advanced nations and the results were the same. UK #1 with 65% satisfaction and the U.S. was the “cellar dweller” #11 with only 25% satisfaction.
Shocking! The UK isn’t just single payer like almost all of Western Europe and Canada, but is true “socialized medicine” where the government runs the hospitals and pays their doctors good salaries.
We can see in this chart that US doctors don’t make that much more than the UK doctors are paid. So our healthcare cost factor of 2 1/2 times theirs is from other sectors.
The Republican Conservatives are saying the VA scandal is proof government can’t run anything right! The UK shows they are maybe full of soup.
Most of the U.S. healthcare is neither single payer (like the original Medicare) nor government run (like the VA). It is a menagerie of health insurance companies. I give the following grades to this section:
Citizen coverage with Obamacare is only 86% with too many of those having high deductibles that make it like no insurance at all. Grade: F
VA was under funded and neglected: Grade: F
Healthcare is far too expensive. It is health insurance company, drug company and hospital chain run for the highest profit, salaries and CEO bonuses possible. Grade: F
Most of our politicians are basically interested in getting elected, being re-elected and rising to higher office. Fixing the healthcare system will lose campaign contributors and lose lobbyist support. So we get stiffed. Grade: F
Obamacare makes some needed improvements. Basically, it expands all that is wrong with American healthcare. It is yet to be determined how much the cost of all this is going to be. Grade: D+
With the abundance of superior systems in Canada, the UK, Western Europe and Japan, why aren’t we studying and copying them? We do this with cars, planes, computers and thousands of other items.
We have only one weapon against the campaign contributions and lobbyists and that is the voting booth. We have to let our so called representatives know that we are aware of how inferior and overpriced our healthcare is. We need to ask them some tough questions like:
“What have you done or are you going to do to break the extremely high monopoly drug prices given to the big drug companies?” (We pay these directly or indirectly through insurance premiums or taxes. The advanced countries have price controls.)
“How do you stand on copying one of the single payer systems like Canada, Western Europe and Japan?”
“How much money have you received from health insurance, drug
and hospital corporations?”
Ask these questions first at party primaries. If their answers are bad or evasive, then vote for someone who is for fixing healthcare. Start candidacies where there are no good answers. Donate and campaign for them.
We must learn from the NRA (National Rifle Association). They show up and vote at primaries and the general elections. Many members donate time and money. The politicians know that. The NRA gets what it wants.
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