International Health Care Systems

How does the U.S. stack up?

According to the Commonwealth Fund:

An 11-country survey focusing on health care access, cost, and insurance coverage found that adults in the United States are by far the most likely to go without care because of costs, have trouble paying medical bills, encounter high medical bills even when insured, and have disputes with insurers or payments denied.”

A summary of the findings can be found here.  Thirty five percent of Americans have out-of-pocket costs of more than $1000 and 20% have a serious problem paying health insurnace bill.  The full report is available here.

1 Comment

  1. While we can argue over what the “best” numbers are is it all concerning that other countries’ citizens don’t worry about the cost of their care?

    Who should “worry” about the cost of care? When is a recommended health intervention deferred due to the cost a “good” thing? If I don’t get a recommended test (i.e. MRI) in a non-emergent problem for another 6 months does the fact that I’m good with the cost make it ok. If I spend the money I would have used for my prescription on meals eaten out on a weekly basis, is cost the real issue?

    It seems the bigger question this survey begs is:

    Is it good to transfer cost concerns from the patient (i.e. the one who has the most to gain and the most to lose regarding the decision) to the taxpayer (indirectly through the government who’s actions are funded by the taxpayer)? (And the follow up question is: If you answer no how much cost burden should the consumer bear?)

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