From “HEALTHWATCH: The Hills Healthcare blog”


Study: US leads in healthcare spending, but ranks last in health

By Sam Baker – 05/12/11 12:11 PM ET

A new report reinforces statistics that supporters of healthcare reform have been trumpeting for years: The U.S. spends more than any other industrialized country on healthcare but has one of the least healthy populations.

The U.S. spent $7,500 per person on healthcare in 2008, according to data released Thursday by The Conference Board of Canada — far and away the most of any country studied. The report says the U.S. spends 16 percent of its gross domestic product on healthcare. Private expenses make up the majority of that spending.

Yet the U.S. ranked last among the 17 countries surveyed in life expectancy and infant mortality. It also has fewer doctors and hospital beds per capita than other countries, according to the report. Japan had the best outcomes, based on the criteria the study used, and the lowest per capita spending.

The low scores come despite a significant investment in prevention. Only Canada spends more on prevention and public health than the U.S., the survey says.

Above-average spending in the U.S. is driven not just by the heavy use of outpatient services such as diagnostic tests, the report said, but also the price of those services.

“Prices in the U.S. are higher across the board,” the report states. “U.S. general practitioners, specialists, and nurses are paid significantly more than physicians in other countries.”

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Comment:  Is anybody listening?  We are spending ourselves to death to avoid death.  We do not have healthy lifestyles, but look to medical care providers to compensate for our poor choices.  We are willing to pay medical providers enormous amounts of money to rescue us, and we do it, in part, because they demand it.  There’s not one of them buggers that’s in it as a service to humanity.

I’d like to see an identical study done about the spiritual condition of the seventeen countries.  I’d bet that countries with high levels of spirituality correlate to low levels of expense for “health care” (which is sickness care, not health care).  And the spiritual care providers—pastors—don’t demand high pay.

We refuse to take responsibility for our own health, consequently we make enormously high payments to professionals who cannot, really, rescue us from ourselves.  We are a nation that is afraid of death, and with good reason.  That Judgment Day thing is going to be a bitch with so many people unprepared.

About annecwoodlen

I am a tenth generation American, descended from a family that has been working a farm that was deeded to us by William Penn. The country has changed around us but we have held true. I stand in my grandmother’s kitchen, look down the valley to her brother’s farm and see my great-great-great-great-great-grandmother Hannah standing on the porch. She is holding the baby, surrounded by four other children, and saying goodbye to her husband and oldest son who are going off to fight in the Revolutionary War. The war is twenty miles away and her husband will die fighting. We are not the Daughters of the American Revolution; we were its mothers. My father, Milton C. Woodlen, got his doctorate from Temple University in the 1940’s when—in his words—“a doctorate still meant something.” He became an education professor at West Chester State Teachers College, where my mother, Elizabeth Hope Copeland, had graduated. My mother raised four girls and one boy, of which I am the middle child. My parents are deceased and my siblings are estranged. My fiancé, Robert H. Dobrow, was a fighter pilot in the Marine Corps. In 1974, his plane crashed, his parachute did not open, and we buried him in a cemetery on Long Island. I could say a great deal about him, or nothing; there is no middle ground. I have loved other men; Bob was my soul mate. The single greatest determinate of who I am and what my life has been is that I inherited my father’s gene for bipolar disorder, type II. Associated with all bipolar disorders is executive dysfunction, a learning disability that interferes with the ability to sort and organize. Despite an I.Q. of 139, I failed twelve subjects and got expelled from high school and prep school. I attended Syracuse University and Onondaga Community College and got an associate’s degree after twenty-five years. I am nothing if not tenacious. Gifted with intelligence, constrained by disability, and compromised by depression, my employment was limited to entry level jobs. Being female in the 1960’s meant that I did office work—billing at the university library, calling out telegrams at Western Union, and filing papers at a law firm. During one decade, I worked at about a hundred different places as a temporary secretary. I worked for hospitals, banks, manufacturers and others, including the county government. I quit the District Attorney’s Office to manage a gas station; it was more honest work. After Bob’s death, I started taking antidepressants. Following doctor’s orders, I took them every day for twenty-six years. During that time, I attempted%2
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