The US Healthcare System: Most Expensive Yet Worst In The Developed World

Tyler Durden's picture

One month ago we showed that when it comes to the cost of basic (and not so basic) health insurance, the US is by far the most expensive country in the world and certainly among its "wealthy-nation"peers (in a world in which indebtedness is somehow equivalent to wealth), which in the context of the irreversible socialization of American healthcare, was in line with expectations. 

It would be logical then to think that as a result of this premium - the biggest in the world - the quality of the healthcare offered in the US among the best, if not the best, in the world. Unfortunately, that would be wrong and, in fact, the reality is the complete opposite: as a recent study by the Commonweath Fund, looking at how the US healthcare system compares internationally, finds, "the U.S. fails to achieve better health outcomes than the other countries, and as shown in the earlier editions, the U.S. is last or near last on dimensions of access, efficiency, and equity." In other words: most expensive, yet worst in the developed world.

From the report:

The United States health care system is the most expensive in the world, but this report and prior editions consistently show the U.S. underperforms relative to other countries on most dimensions of performance. Among the 11 nations studied in this report—Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States—the U.S. ranks last, as it did in the 2010, 2007, 2006, and 2004 editions of Mirror, Mirror. Most troubling, the U.S. fails to achieve better health outcomes than the other countries, and as shown in the earlier editions, the U.S. is last or near last on dimensions of access, efficiency, and equity. In this edition of Mirror, Mirror, the United Kingdom ranks first, followed closely by Switzerland (Exhibit ES-1).

Expanding from the seven countries included in 2010, the 2014 edition includes data from 11 countries. It incorporates patients’ and physicians’ survey results on care experiences and ratings on various dimensions of care. It includes information from the most recent three Commonwealth Fund international surveys of patients and primary care physicians about medical practices and views of their countries’ health systems (2011–2013). It also includes information on health care outcomes featured in The Commonwealth Fund’s most recent (2011) national health system scorecard, and from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).

The most notable way the U.S. differs from other industrialized countries is the absence of universal health insurance coverage. Other nations ensure the accessibility of care through universal health systems and through better ties between patients and the physician practices that serve as their medical homes. The Affordable Care Act is increasing the number of Americans with coverage and improving access to care, though the data in this report are from years prior to the full implementation of the law. Thus, it is not surprising that the U.S. underperforms on measures of access and equity between populations with above- average and below-average incomes.

The U.S. also ranks behind most countries on many measures of health outcomes, quality, and efficiency. U.S. physicians face particular difficulties receiving timely information, coordinating care, and dealing with administrative hassles. Other countries have led in the adoption of modern health information systems, but U.S. physicians and hospitals are catching up as they respond to significant financial incentives to adopt and make meaningful use of health information technology systems. Additional provisions in the Affordable Care Act will further encourage the efficient organization and delivery of health care, as well as investment in important preventive and population health measures.

For all countries, responses indicate room for improvement. Yet, the other 10 countries spend considerably less on health care per person and as a percent of gross domestic product than does the United States. These findings indicate that, from the perspectives of both physicians and patients, the U.S. health care system could do much better in achieving value for the nation’s substantial investment in health.

Major Findings

  • Quality: The indicators of quality were grouped into four categories: effective care, safe care, coordinated care, and patient-centered care. Compared with the other 10 countries, the U.S. fares best on provision and receipt of preventive and patient-centered care. While there has been some improvement in recent years, lower scores on safe and coordinated care pull the overall U.S. quality score down. Continued adoption of health information technology should enhance the ability of U.S. physicians to identify, monitor, and coordinate care for their patients, particularly those with chronic conditions.
  • Access: Not surprisingly—given the absence of universal coverage—people in the U.S. go without needed health care because of cost more often than people do in the other countries. Americans were the most likely to say they had access problems related to cost. Patients in the U.S. have rapid access to specialized health care services; however, they are less likely to report rapid access to primary care than people in leading countries in the study. In other countries, like Canada, patients have little to no financial burden, but experience wait times for such specialized services. There is a frequent misperception that trade-offs between universal coverage and timely access to specialized services are inevitable; however, the Netherlands, U.K., and Germany provide universal coverage with low out-of-pocket costs while maintaining quick access to specialty services.
  • Efficiency: On indicators of efficiency, the U.S. ranks last among the 11 countries, with the U.K. and Sweden ranking first and second, respectively. The U.S. has poor performance on measures of national health expenditures and administrative costs as well as on measures of administrative hassles, avoidable emergency room use, and duplicative medical testing. Sicker survey respondents in the U.K. and France are less likely to visit the emergency room for a condition that could have been treated by a regular doctor, had one been available.
  • Equity: The U.S. ranks a clear last on measures of equity. Americans with below-average incomes were much more likely than their counterparts in other countries to report not visiting a physician when sick; not getting a recommended test, treatment, or follow-up care; or not filling a prescription or skipping doses when needed because of costs. On each of these indicators, one-third or more lower-income adults in the U.S. said they went without needed care because of costs in the past year.
  • Healthy lives: The U.S. ranks last overall with poor scores on all three indicators of healthy lives—mortality amenable to medical care, infant mortality, and healthy life expectancy at age 60. The U.S. and U.K. had much higher death rates in 2007 from conditions amenable to medical care than some of the other countries, e.g., rates 25 percent to 50 percent higher than Australia and Sweden. Overall, France, Sweden, and Switzerland rank highest on healthy lives.


The U.S. ranks last of 11 nations overall. Findings in this report confirm many of those in the earlier four editions of Mirror, Mirror, with the U.S. still ranking last on indicators of efficiency, equity, and outcomes. The U.K. continues to demonstrate strong performance and ranked first overall, though lagging notably on health outcomes. Switzerland, which was included for the first time in this edition, ranked second overall. In the subcategories, the U.S. ranks higher on preventive care, and is strong on waiting times for specialist care, but weak on access to needed services and ability to obtain prompt attention from primary care physicians. Any attempt to assess the relative performance of countries has inherent limitations. These rankings summarize evidence on measures of high performance based on national mortality data and the perceptions and experiences of patients and physicians. They do not capture important dimensions of effectiveness or efficiency that might be obtained from medical records or administrative data. Patients’ and physicians’ assessments might be affected by their experiences and expectations, which could differ by country and culture.

Disparities in access to services signal the need to expand insurance to cover the uninsured and to ensure that all Americans have an accessible medical home. Under the Affordable Care Act, low- to moderate-income families are now eligible for financial assistance in obtaining coverage. Meanwhile, the U.S. has significantly accelerated the adoption of health information technology following the enactment of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and is beginning to close the gap with other countries that have led on adoption of health information technology. Significant incentives now encourage U.S. providers to utilize integrated medical records and information systems that are accessible to providers and patients. Those efforts will likely help clinicians deliver more effective and efficient care.

Many U.S. hospitals and health systems are dedicated to improving the process of care to achieve better safety and quality, but the U.S. can also learn from innovations in other countries—including public reporting of quality data, payment systems that reward high-quality care, and a team approach to management of chronic conditions. Based on these patient and physician reports, and with the enactment of health reform, the United States should be able to make significant strides in improving the delivery, coordination, and equity of the health care system in coming years.

* * *

It should, although if the government is in charge of it, as it now appears to be, it won't.

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pcrs's picture

Maybe that is why the police kills a 95 year old guy who refused healthcare.

It is mandatory grandpa, it's good for your health. fasicism should be called corporatism, as it is a merger of state and corporate power -- Mussolini Selling slaves to the highest bidder.

Stackers's picture

From all the horror stories I have read for years now on the U.K. single payer health care system I will have to call Bull Shit on this "study".

UK health system is plagued with wait times, people denied treaments due to cost benefit analysis by the N.I.C.E. board, people dying in ambulance outside waiting rooms so that they are never officially checked in and show up as "wait times" in the system (sound familiar to the VA?) lack of available facilities anywhere in the country (story of how US army doctors and equipment had to be flown in to save a Brit army casualty becuase the equipment needed to save his life was not anywhere in the UK) and on and on.


The Europeans are simply better at hiding their statistics through scandals similiar to the VA secret wait list all geared to make government manditory reporting information look better than it is.

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

"It would be logical then to think that as a result of this premium - the biggest in the world - the quality of the healthcare offered in the US among the best, if not the best, in the world."

Well, here's the problem with this whole stupid essay-- the very premise it is built upon is exactly 180 degrees wrong. Since "health" is an uninsurable risk, we would logically expect that every dollar spent on health "insurance" would be completely wasted, and thus would correlate INVERSELY to the aggregate quality of delivered health care.

Which is exactly what we are seeing in this country.

Now, the US still has some of the best doctors-- who typically only accept cash and do not deal directly with the "insurance" system. People come from all over the world to see them. But of course, the fully retarded nature of Obamacare-- which was seemingly developed in a lab to deliver the lowest quality care possible while transferring the hugest amount of money possible to health "insurance" companies and maximizing bureaucratic tyranny-- will wind up frustrating qualified people from entering the medical profession and thus crippling our outcomes even more.

Since "health" is uninsurable, it does not matter whether the insurance premiums are paid via taxes to the government, or via policy payments to private insurers-- it will still be wasted money that will actively degrade the quality of delivered care. Of course, since virtually every western nation has a huge insurance infrastructure built up-- be it public or private-- it is now impossible to compare systems as they are all badly degraded and delivering massively substandard care.

Consider this. If PC technology stopped developing in 1983, and everyone was using some version of the IBM PC, PC XT, or PC AT, there would be small relative differences in shittiness in computing power, but no one would know what actual desktop computing power could look like because progress had completely stopped and no one could imagine anything better anymore.

Until we completely eliminate all forms of healthcare "insurance"-- including Medicare and Medicaid, and all private insurance-- we will be stuck in the dark ages.

Christophe2's picture

No matter what this BS article tries to say with its BS surveys, the Western corporate medical system is TERRIBLE across the board, no matter whether you are in Canada, the UK or USA.

The very science that is supposed to drive knowledge and decisions is so completely perverted by the satanists in charge that they obviously are not ever trying to cure the root causes of illness, but rather treat the symptoms and make the causes linger, so that (ideally) they can keep making money just treating the symptoms.  (And yet the doctors never seem to notice what their patients can see, plain as day!)

The system is so paternalistic and insulting, as well: the 'saintly' doctors are meant to decide all for us, and we are meant just to be 'patients' who blindly trust these profit-driven assholes - after all, they made their hypocrite's oath, right?

As a result, the most important aspect of modern medicine is bedside manners, because studies and practice show that it doesn't matter how much you obviously harm your patients (as a doctor or dentist) - what matters is that you make them think that you care about them and are trying your best, in which case most dummy 'patients' will end up thinking that they got good care and will want to forgive any 'mistakes'!  BS Bedside manner is at least 90% of what drives these reports of 'good care'!!!

The real solution, IMO, is for information to be shared so that people can decide for themselves what treatments they feel are required - after all, when it is YOUR LIFE at stake, you are pretty sure not to have a vested interest in making middlemen rich, but for the time being we are sure to remain in this satanic system wherein adults cannot access life-saving remedies without first visiting these sell-out middlemen 'doctors', and where if you refuse their poisons (for all the cases where you disagree with their 'science'), then they will call the cops on you!

Doctors' visits should be optional, meant just for people who are too lazy or busy to do the research themselves, but obviously no think-tank-funded study will propose measures that massively reduce costs and remove TPTB's ability to abusively control peoples' lives...

When it comes to the types of people I despise the most, I am really not sure which of the following are the most detestable: doctors, cops, lawyers, politicians, bankers - fucking bunch of sell-out, two-faced, motherfucking better-than-thou assholes!

I mean, yeah, bankers are using fraud to make the whole world dirt poor and miserable, but at least they aren't physically poisoning you while pretending to cure you!

Abi Normal's picture

The Commonwealth Fund roflmao, part of WHO, and will do and say anything to trample American healthcare.  I deplore Obamacare, which is making things worse, but the WHO will say ANYTHING to make us move to a single payer system.

Anyone who has a brain knows USA has most expensive, but the best healthcare in the WORLD, fuck the lying parasites who say otherwise.

More people come to the States to get the best diagnosis and care available in the world today...I fucking hate liars!!!

Christophe2's picture

How exactly does the US have the "best healthcare in the WORLD"?

"California to make it a felony for MDs to treat cancer without chemo, radiation or surgery":

The AIDS virus is a MYTH:

And in spite of this and so many other examples of satanic malpractice, people still think that Western medecine is the 'best in the world'!!!  WAKE UP!


Abi Normal's picture

LOL, you are such a dumbass, I cannot even fathom an answer to your silliness.  Get an education first, then a life. Kalifornia is a communist bastion now, so what they do is on them, plus that even solidifies my argument against a one payer fucking wake up dolt.

AIDS is a myth?  You are a myth...

GernB's picture

Anyone with a brain who is paying the slightest attention knows the raiting is a lie. They use criteria such as "equity" and "access" in their rating, which are not criteria the average person would associate with "best healthcare" thus it is an attempt to fool the average person into thinking our system achieves worse outcomes for treatment of comparable problems (the expected meaning of "best) when that is not the case. When you're criteria for rating "best health care" are at odds with what people conventionally mean by "best health care" it can only mean you are engaging in a deliberate attempt to mislead people into thinking a lie is the truth.

Flakmeister's picture

I would say that you are doing a very good job of misleading yourself...

GernB's picture

Yes, I'm misleading myself by discerning the difference between honest investigation and reporting and propaganda.

Flakmeister's picture

Or you do what I did, deal with Health care in 4 different countries...

The US is the absolute worst experience by far....

Occident Mortal's picture

This report broadly represents my experience of healthcare in the half a dozen countries I have been unfortunate enough to need it.

The USA was woeful compared to the likes of the UK or France.

For the 0.001% of the population who are dying from very rare cancers the US system might be better, but only if you are also a member of the top 5% of society, with 360deg coverage.

Going to a pharmacy or ER or to see a doctor about some minor ailment (which is about 98% of all your healthcare visits) and the US system is positively half a century behind some countries.

snr-moment's picture

Odd, my Italian In-law died of a UTI gone septic.  And, unlike say Spain, where you can buy antibiotics without a prescription, here you can't even buy pseudofed without fingerprinting.  Think that might lower Spain's medical costs?

Ionic Equilibria's picture

Unfortunately very few medical practitioners know that mannose will cure 90% of UTIs. This is something that sshould be universally taught in medical schools but isn't:

Mannose cures urinary tract infections caused by uropathogenic Escherichia Coli (UPEC).  The sooner these mannosides are available the better.   and more, but you get the idea. Rather than clinging to mannose residues on proteins in the bladder wall UPEC link up with free mannose and wash out, a solution far better than using antibiotics to treat UTIs.  The promiscious use of antibiotics when they aren't necessary has inevitably resulted in huge and ever growing problems of antibiotic resistance.  Anybody with half a brain could have seen this coming at least 5 decades ago.  But wait.  Many people still believe the earth was created 6000 years ago so I suppose they can't be expected to grasp this simple example of evolution in action.
James_Cole's picture

This report broadly represents my experience of healthcare in the half a dozen countries I have been unfortunate enough to need it.

The USA was woeful compared to the likes of the UK or France.

If Americans spent a tiny bit of time in other countries they'd recnogize how shit their 'private' healthcare is compared to single payer systems elsewhere.  But whatever, ignorance is bliss right zh'ers? It's all propaganda!!! Only <insert rightwing dumbass here> tells the truth!!
OpenThePodBayDoorHAL's picture

So true. I grew up in the US and of course swallowed the Kool-aid (USA is the world's best!). Then my Dad got sick (in France) and I watched the quality and cost of his care: about 10x better than the US. Private doctor visits to his home; instant reimburse of the taxi fare to the specialist; zero waiting times, etc etc. THEN I moved to Australia. Sorry 'Merkans you guys are getting ROYALLY SCREWED

sylviasays's picture

And no doubt the French doctors billed your Dad's U.S. health insurance big time for that extra special care? 

No doubt Australia doesn't have milllions of illegals crowding their emergency rooms and getting free healthcare paid for by taxpayers like the US does? 

Flakmeister's picture

Hee. hee, hee....

Unless you have special (and expensive) out of country travellers insurance, fuggedaboutit...

Christophe2's picture

The AIDS virus is a MYTH because, like Big Foot, it has never been isolated, since it does not exist:

Decades + billions of dollars + countless researchers experienced at isolating even retro-viruses + millions of liters of 'contaminated blood' and yet all the researchers have now given up and moved on, 'cos THE VIRUS DOESN'T EXIST!!!

Or how about poppers, which wikipedia's corporate-fed BS tells us ( are as safe as alcohol, when in fact they were probably the primary cause of AIDS in gay men during the 80's and 90's:

So yeah, uh huh, I am just a myth, but the satanic corporate medical system that is purposefully lying to us, withholding critical information from us, and making money selling the absolute most poisonous 'remedies' (ex: AZT) to outright kill us - all that stuff that isn't due to "one payer system", that isn't just plain old inefficiencies due to wasteful practices, all that insanity just doesn't exist for these proud American fools.

Trust medicine at your own expense.  ALWAYS do your own research and NEVER believe what they tell you with their smiles and 'expert care'.

JustUsChickensHere's picture

Idiot ... and I call you that because of first hand knowledge.

Christophe2's picture

LOL.  Please tell us about your first hand knowledge at isolating the mythical AIDS virus.  The scientific community doesn't seem to have heard of your results!

Ionic Equilibria's picture

Such incredible ignorance and paranoia surely merits some kind of prize.  I just love idiotic rants like this.  I need them to keep remindng me of the profound stupidity of our species which I have a tendency to underestimate despite many years of experience.

All Risk No Reward's picture

>>the Western corporate medical system is TERRIBLE across the board<<

Every corporate system is engineered to maximize profits for the corporation (and debt to everyone outside the corporation since money is debt!  Ruminate on that principle until it sinks in).

Are you saying that these corporations are not maximizing profits - especially for the insider cartel members?


In fact, their profits are maximized via maximizing covert chronic disease within society...   Think about that until it sinks in, too.

kellycriterion's picture

The unwashed masses don't even realize that medicine was collectivized in the US long ago. Tax subsidies, mandates, Medicare, combined to make "private insurance more like public collectivism than it already is.

The resulting Hypochondria Care 1.0? Well in a culture like the US, you can count on consumers, providers, middlemen to to grab every penny in the system and then some,especially the pennies of the people currently not using the system. And when those people want to use the system?

Managing the collective always comes back the social compact and voluntary compliance.

Stuck on Zero's picture

Here in Southern California wait times for specialists can easily exceed 6 - 9 months.  Allergists, 9 months, surgeons, 6 months.  My friends wife needs knee surgery and she is on a 5 month wait list.  In the meantime she is confined to a wheel chair.  The second biggest killer in the United States is now the medical system: MRSA, hospital caused infections, errors, and mis-use of prescription drugs top the list.  U.S. doctors prescribe more medicine than all doctors in the rest of the world and we're paying the price.

I helped develop digital x-ray systems that we exported all over the world.  We sold them for $180K in the U.S. and $60K in third world countries. The price difference was due to FDA approval.  The third world countries get better, more advanced equipment faster and cheaper.  Southern California hospitals very often use thirty year old, high-dose equipment because they can't afford the more modern systems.

CheapBastard's picture

It's a mess. I grew up with the fellows how are my present internal med doctor and ortho guy. Otherwise they tell me it would take 4-6 months to get in and both of them now limit the types of insurance they accept so if you have a base Obamacare plan or Medicaid or Medicare you're out of luck for these docs. I read more doctors are going off many of these plans this year. I can't blame the docs they had to fork out tons of time for training and tons of money for tuition. imo both patients and docs get screwed in this system. Hospitals, however, seem to flourish and overcharge for everything.


So what good is that insuance if no one accepts it? Sure, some folks can do the out-of-pocket for small issues but for the Biggies you're gonna be out of luck. Maybe moving to Thailand [where costs are 1/1oth of the USA] ain't a bad idea?

Where does that Faber fellow live again?

snr-moment's picture

So just to clarify, you are saying your digital system decreased dose. right?  Because that wasn't our experience at all when we dropped film-screen.  2.5 fold increase.  Ask any tech.  They may have improved since then, but not initially, and I doubt by that much.


Also, want health care to be cheaper?, stop having the US be the primary source of revenue for drug R&D.  No reason we should be paying more than the rest of the world.


Also stop suing ER Docs  who then order COUNTLESS unnecessary examinations (head ct's etc) to cover their ass.  Same goes with OB.  Or keep training your toll workers to deliver.

snr-moment's picture

Oh, and by the way, Quebec had ONE med-flight chopper.  Good way to keep health care costs down.


Just ask Natasha Richardson.


Oh and here are some fun ones:


That last one was the one I was really looking for.  Taking longer every time.  Fucking Pharmaceutical companies!!

Christophe2's picture

The interesting thing to notice about the legal system's impact on medical (mal)practices is that it fits PERFECTLY with maximized corporate profits.

It is extremely bad for people to take large doses of radiation, especially when their bodies are already sick and traumatized already, but this is very good for the fat profits of all the corporations involved.  More people die AND corporations make moar money...


snr-moment's picture

Right!  That Level I retired trauma surgeon never learned anything of value from those MVC pan-CTs.

Christophe2's picture

It's kind of amazing that the industry-wide 'legal settlement' that resulted from the lawsuits was for doctors to be legally required to grossly overuse radiation-emitting machines on their patients.  No doctor in America can/could avoid administering these cancer-causing 'tests', even in an emergency, and yet nearly all patients come away feeling special and well taken care of, since the most expensive machines are being used to scan them in some way - so long as it was expensive and flamboyant, they are satisfied.

detached.amusement's picture

its the entire design of the machine that goes 'bing'....not to mention the most expensive machine in the hospital...

Excursionist's picture

Tore my meniscus in the right knee, and start to finish, I was sorted out in three weeks.  Biggest wait came from getting X-ray and then MRI results.  Ortho and other services were provided in the People's Republic of Santa Monica, which contrasts with your SoCal experience.

Of course I had a tricked out insurance plan.  You get what you pay for, so don't generalize.

Check out the following from a pro-universal coverage character at the National Institutes of Health:

"Most of the NHS’s dreary features—the rundown hospitals, the chronic shortages of specialists in every field, the long waiting lists—stem from chronic underfunding and undersupply of personnel and equipment. Many universal health care systems avoid these problems. How well a system is designed must always be distinguished from how well it is funded; the NHS is quite well designed but underprovisioned"

In other words, the system design is terrific!  All it needs is more money and everything will be just peachy!

If anyone here believes the Commonwealth Fund's absolutely fuckin' horseshit (and by extension the author of this particular blog post), then I've got a bridge to Brooklyn to sell them.

sylviasays's picture

"Here in Southern California wait times for specialists can easily exceed 6 - 9 months.  Allergists, 9 months, surgeons, 6 months.  My friends wife needs knee surgery and she is on a 5 month wait list."  

California, a land where millions of illegals get better medical care paid for by taxpayers than those with private medical insurance? No waits for them--they go directly to emergency rooms for immediate medical attention. 

ISEEIT's picture

The U.K. system is a monstrosity, but then again so is the mess we suffer in the U.S. and obozocare absolutely only has and will only continue to make it worse. Obozocare is, much as was the 'war on terror' a Trojan horse designed to achieve central planning objectives. With the war on terror meme the ultimate objective was the transition to a police state. Obozocare isn't even remotely about healthcare delivery. It's entirely about tightening the noose already around our necks and furthering USG's ability to 'manage' the zoo er I mean...population.

I do believe that access to actual healthcare services ought to be provided to every prisoner of any decent government, but we each have our own responsibilities as well and healthcare for the majority of us begins with good diet and exercise.

Imminent Collapse's picture

Until you stop money from buying Congressmen, you will not reduce the cost of healthcare. I mean, when Big Pharma gets a law passed prohibiting the federal government from negotiating drug prices, you know the end is near.

potato's picture

Exactly. I heard all the time what a shitshow the NHS has become. How can they be No. 1? The impression i get from ZH is that the NHS is among the worst. Would someone please explain what is really going on.

TBT or not TBT's picture

Statists and central planning addicts prepared and wrote the report, just like every year.

drendebe10's picture

Well, then... it's a good thing Phoenix VA Hospital bureuacratic style quality health care is coming to our neighborhoods to save us real soon courtesy a bigger bureaucratic style and more expensive health care system via obamascare....


"We have to pass it to find out what's in it"  Nancy "botox face" Pelosi, 3/2009

"There ain't nuthin uglier than an old white woman."  Fred Sanford, Sanford and Son.

Dr. Ben Carson for President 2016

midtowng's picture

You are thinking of the U.S.

It is America where people die from being denied needed treatment.

The wait time in the U.K. are for elective treatments. In the UK it is based on need. In America it is based on money.

NoDebt's picture

Story sound just a bit biased to anyone?  Me, too.  So I clicked through to the source:  The Commonwealth Fund.

They're based in D.C.  Uh Huh.

Mission statement:

The mission of The Commonwealth Fund is to promote a high-performing health care system that achieves better access, improved quality, and greater efficiency, particularly for society's most vulnerable, including low-income people, the uninsured, minority Americans, young children, and elderly adults.

I'd consider the information in this article be treated with a healthy dose of scepticism.

TheFourthStooge-ing's picture

The study on which the article is based completely misses the point.

The purpose of the healthcare system in the US is to rake in as much money as possible via skimming operations of ever increasing complexity. The only connection it has with actual health is that it must facilitate the bare minimum level of treatment required to maintain the thin veneer of "care" that keeps enough people from seeing through the scam.

When viewed in this context, the US healthcare system is the best in the world.

Abi Normal's picture

ROFLMAO, you fucking stooge, I just flushed your brother down my toilet.  You are a fucking idiot.

doctor10's picture

well of course its bad-Hillary and a few more dozen Federal agencies will be required to fix it!!

rubiconsolutions's picture

I never bought my kids a car when they were old enough to drive. The reason was simple: if they didn't have an investment in a vehicle they would destroy it in short order. It's the same with healthcare. With third party coverage of just about anything imaginable people have zero incentive to take care of their bodies. Smoke? No big deal because later in life Medicare will cover lung cancer and COPD. Obese? No problem because my insurance will cover lap band surgery. Diabetes? Instead of reducing sugar intake we'll just get you on insulin. I spent 25 years in healthcare software and saw costs soar in proportion to government and third party intervention. Unless and until people have to take responsible for their actions then costs will continue to rise. 

kowalli's picture

obamacare will kill you really fast

FilthyHabits's picture

Health insurance is not health care. They are two completely different things.

The most best'ist, amazeballs insurance out there can't give you care.

Insurance is a fucking mafia scam.

Tell Obummer he is a whorebag who doesn't even know what words come out of his mouth from that TelePrompTer.

nmewn's picture

But but is a RIGHT! Obama said so!

So again we are confronted with the prospect of the state, putting a gun to the head of a doctor, to extract "my right" from him? Well thats just comforting as hell. Personally, I don't want my surgeons hand trembling in fear.

I only need one belly button even if the second one is freeeee! ;-)

FilthyHabits's picture

That's why this, level 1 Trauma Surgeon, retired early.

I've had hospital administrators explain me, "I needed to operate because that's what pays the bills". Fuck that system, patients and doctors are being abused. Insurance companies are fucking evil and they represent the fear and hope cycle driven by humans misunderstanding of life and death.

We will all dye; the earth with our blood.

Arm Yourselves.