Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Best Medical Care in the World

I cannot resist blatantly stealing this chart from Crooks and Liars. I hope I will be forgiven as I think it is something every American needs to see:












Boy, we sure can be proud of the wonderful medical care brought to us by the all-seeing, all-powerful, totally benificent free market system that is everything here in the good ol' U.S. of A.

5 comments:

Derek Jordan Foley said...

The WHO ranks us #1 in terms of efficiency/timeliness/patient choice so color me skeptical of this chart from crooks and liars.

Green Eagle said...

I'm so surprised, Derek. You guys never let the facts get in the way of your greed-motivated opinions.

magpie said...

Actually I think it's jingoistic reflex that motivates Derek's opinion on this issue (and THAT, gents, is very hard to cure).

The WHO ranked the USA #37 overall.

France #1 in quality of treatment.

The USA was #1 in cost (I'm sure you're proud of that, Derek, your side of politics has fought so hard to keep it that way).

Of course it's not even across the United States. The Red states are in the main considerably worse than the Blue states.

The data is from multinational studies, Derek, so if you want to blame someone other than your bankrupt political creed, blame us foreigners...!

You guys tend to do that anyway.

Derek said...

"The WHO ranked the USA #37 overall."

I've explained this before magpie. There were four sections worth 25% each that the WHO ranked healthcare systems on to make the overall ranking.

Those categories were as follows:

1. Life expectancy. Higher the life expectancy higher the score.

2. Financial fairness. Amount spent per year on healthcare.

3. Responsiveness/patient choice. How quickly patients receive care and how many options are open to patients.

4. Distribution. Any inequality in the previous categories results in loss of points.

So let's go through these piece by piece. Life expectancy, while related to quality of healthcare, cannot be a measure of it. Americans are fat, accident prone, inactive, and violent. The fact that we live as long as we do is remarkable as it is.

Financial fairness. Common sense measures could be put in place (TORT reform, removing needless regulations on insurance companies, etc) that would significantly reduce the cost of healthcare within the US. On the note of how much we spend in comparison to other countries, yes we spend more. But, in doing so, we receive more. Americans are far more likely to receive preventative care, treatment for chronic disease, imaging from new technologies, and fast emergency care than individuals in Europe or Canada. Also, those in European countries must pay significantly higher taxes in order to receive such benefits, thus causing not only a cost to them, but decreasing economic growth as well.

Responsiveness/patient choice. I believe this to be what really matters, at least in part, when discussing the "quality" of a healthcare system. How soon can a patient receive the care they need and how many options are open to them (no one likes to be told they can't have a MRI because the hospital near them doesn't have one). US rank: #1

Distribution: While on the face this might seem like a measure of quality, it isn't. This doesn't necessarily mean one person has no access to care while someone else has the best care ever. Any disparity in the first three categories results in a loss of points. So if a country has no healthcare and no cost, so the people pay nothing and receive nothing, that country would receive a perfect in this category. However, the US, which has ranges in these categories, even from good to excellent, would receive a lower score. Such a grading system is clearly inaccurate when determining overall quality of a healthcare system.

"I'm sure you're proud of that, Derek, your side of politics has fought so hard to keep it that way"

Please, look at how much premiums will increase under Obamacare. For the majority of Americans, costs increase. I believe it was the democrats who said "no" to common sense reforms that would reduce costs.

http://www.ncpa.org/pub/ba649

"I think it's jingoistic reflex that motivates Derek's opinion on this issue"

I believe your use of "jingoistic" is inaccurate in this case. I am not saying US #1 because I am nationalistic, I am saying it because the WHO said so.

Massachusetts: $600

Georgia: $200

Massachusetts wait time for physician: 50 days

Georgia wait time for physician: 11 days

And the Commonwealth care program costs nearly $1.5 billion annually.

So GE, you said nothing as usual, and magpie, I hope that clears things up for you.

magpie said...

Derek,

You spin a good yarn when you try to make turds smell like daffodils, but it doesn't mean anything.

"those in European countries must pay significantly higher taxes in order to receive such benefits"

But they're not crippled by the cost of treatment when they need it. The amount I pay in taxes for our universal cover is actually negligible. Less if you're poor.
More than half of personal bankruptcies in the USA have medical costs as a contributing factor. At 2007 16% of GDP was going to health care, the worst blowout in the world, bar East Timor, for returns that lag much of the world. Meanwhile over 15% of Americans have no cover at all.

"Responsiveness/patient choice. I believe this to be what really matters, at least in part, when discussing the "quality" of a healthcare system."

You are adept at believing all sorts of nonsense. The WHO ranked France #1 on "quality". Specifically.
37th in overall performance means just that.

"Americans are fat, accident prone, inactive, and violent. The fact that we live as long as we do is remarkable as it is."

I don't really see how you're more accident prone. There is a level of opportunity in more sensible eating and exercise, I grant. But that's true of many developed countries.
And you do shoot each other an awful lot, I agree.

However infant mortality rates are hideous for a country as wealthy and advanced as yours. Worse than most of the industrialized world.
None of those factors can really account for that.

"So if a country has no healthcare and no cost, so the people pay nothing and receive nothing, that country would receive a perfect in this category."

I think you to take a moment and consider the absurdity of that remark.

"I believe it was the democrats who said "no" to common sense reforms that would reduce costs."

Oh please. The Republicans offered nothing and obstructed everything and you know that. The GOP has no credibility on health care. I'd point out you had 8 years to do something about it, and didn't. Except preside over a deterioration in value.