Friday, March 23, 2012

Health Care Costs in Europe Substantially Below Medically-Related Prices in the United States

For various personal reasons, I have recently been confronted with researching health care costs in America and have been absolutely APPALLED at the exorbitantly high prices in the USA in comparison to Germany, where I am domiciled.

Not only that, but Americans get LESSER quality health care in the United States in spite of those doubly higher prices.

What goes on?

With a hat tip to CaryGEE, I found an article by Ezra Klein at the Washington Post Wonkblog asking and explaining

Why an MRI costs $1,080 in America and $280 in France.

As Ezra Klein writes:
"In 2009, Americans spent $7,960 per person on health care. Our neighbors in Canada spent $4,808. The Germans spent $4,218. The French, $3,978."

And yet, Americans are getting LESS for their money. Health care in the USA is not nearly up to the quality standard that we have here in Germany, at half the price.

Klein notes:
"On Friday, the International Federation of Health Plans — a global insurance trade association that includes more than 100 insurers in 25 countries — released more direct evidence. It surveyed its members on the prices paid for 23 medical services and products in different countries, asking after everything from a routine doctor’s visit to a dose of Lipitor to coronary bypass surgery. And in 22 of 23 cases, Americans are paying higher prices than residents of other developed countries. Usually, we’re paying quite a bit more."
Are pharmaceutical and health care companies in America immensely profitable? More profitable than elsewhere. Yes. Do they invest a lot more in America? No.

It is a business, for private profit, at the expense of YOUR health.

Many citizens are going around foolishly trying to repeal the Obama Health Care law, whereas the real PROBLEM lies elsewhere. As Klein writes:
"The 2010 health-reform law does little to directly address prices....

“There is so much inefficiency in our system, that there’s a lot of low-hanging fruit we can deal with before we get into regulating people’s prices.” says Len Nichols, director of the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics at George Mason University. “Maybe, after we’ve cut waste for 10 years, we’ll be ready to have a discussion over prices.”"
10 Years?

You know, America became a great country because it was historically more efficient than other countries and did away with many obstacles that hampered progress.

Today, it is exactly the opposite. Inertia is a mark made in America.

10 years is a long time to correct gross failings in the system.

And for all of you out there who have to find an affordable nursing home for your loved ones or yourself when the time comes -- good luck.

Remember, that in your choices of the people you elect as your lawmakers and representatives, you contributed to the faulty system you have -- and which you too will have to face, soon, down the road.

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