Tuesday, January 30, 2007

US Health Care

Further to my previous posts on the US health care system (Medical and Dental Insurance; Health Care Expenditure), here's a good article, entitled Caring for America's Health, that forms part of the 27th January 2007 edition of the BBC's From Our Own Correspondent. It articulates quite well what I see as the problems with US health care.

Here's some excerpts (square brackets are my comments):

Bo [an American friend of the authors who suffers with multiple sclerosis] is expensive and the insurers do not want him... and they make it obvious.

Every year Bo gets a letter asking him if he is still ill.

Someone has to fill in a form for him: "Yes, I am quadriplegic; no, no miracle appears to have happened."


The story of American healthcare is one of huge expenditure for little obvious benefit.

By head of population America spends twice the amount Britain does on health.

But life expectancy here is lower and infant mortality is higher, way higher in some ethnic groups.

Most of the money seems to go on overheads and on profits for the many private companies providing care, the hospital groups, the drug manufacturers, and above all the insurance companies which write letters to Bo inquiring about his MS and write incessantly to all their other customers as well...
Caring for America's Health by Justin Webb

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