Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Evidence ignored in Healthcare Reform

As Ezra Klein notes today, the U.S. is not adopting any of the plans from other industrialized nations which have been effective at reducing healthcare costs while maintain quality:

And here’s the shocker: Our government spends more on health care than the governments of Japan, Australia, Norway, the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Canada or Switzerland.

Think about that for a minute. Canada has a single-payer health-care system. The government is the only insurer of any note. The United Kingdom has a socialized system, in which the government is not only the sole insurer of note but also employs most of the doctors and nurses and runs most of the hospitals. And yet, measured as a share of the economy, our government health-care system is the largest of the bunch.

And it’s worse than that: Atop our giant government health-care sector, we have an even more giant private health-care sector. Altogether, we’re spending about 16 percent of the GDP on health care. No other country even tops 12 percent. Which means we’ve got the worst of both worlds: huge government and high costs.

Sadly, since both Parties are so invested in their own positions, and more concerned with poking each other to death then real public service, I do not see this trend changing, no matter what "The President proposes and Congress disposes."


Mike at The Big Stick said...

I'm always dubious about arguments based on what other countries are doing. It always sounds like my kids saying, "But Susie's parents blah, blha, blah."

There are a lot of cultural factors involved that don't transcend international borders.

Philip H. said...

Such as? Look, the free market only model doesn't work, and the quasi governmental model we are currently trying doesn't seem to work either. If we live in a global economy, then why not look at global ideas and see if, in fact, someone else has it right. Worst thing that could happen is we end up using someone else's model and it works . . .