Commonwealth Fund's Con Job on US Health Care

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  • 09/22/2006

I will blog on this at greater length later but if you really want to score the US health system compared to others in the world, here’s a list of questions to ask:

f your child had a rare form of cancer and needed an MRI…where would he or she wait the longest and which country would you want to be in?

If you need emergency bypass surgery where would you want to be?

If you wanted access to Humira, early stage treatment with Sutent, Revlimid or Gleevec, where would you want to be?

If your baby weighed 500 grams in which country would it have the best chance of living (hint: even though it would have the highest infant mortality rate for trying? )

Which country has the fewest seniors in nursing homes and most receiving prescription drug coverage?

Is there any difference in the rate at which any industrialized nation spends health care?

I could go on but you get the drift…

Comomwealth uses incidence of medical debt as a quality indicator? Medical debt? Are they kidding? There isn’t one accurate study in the US and then to make international comparisons is close to impossible. How about tax burden as a percentage of income? Try 15-20 percent around the world on top of income and social security taxes…and that is for health care your wait months and years for. But I digress.

Ultimately once you control for obesity and violence the US system does spectacularly well in delivering what we demand from our care…better quality of life as well as longer lives…Europe and Canada do a great job ensuring that the vast majority of healthy people get lots of primary care and do it by limiting access to speciality care when they get sick,


Center for Medicine in the Public Interest is a nonprofit, non-partisan organization promoting innovative solutions that advance medical progress, reduce health disparities, extend life and make health care more affordable, preventive and patient-centered. CMPI also provides the public, policymakers and the media a reliable source of independent scientific analysis on issues ranging from personalized medicine, food and drug safety, health care reform and comparative effectiveness.

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