What advanced nation has a system that wouldn’t tend to you immediately when you had chest pains? Anecdotal observations are convincing mostly to the teller and those whose opinions are confirmed by the anecdote, and yours is an impressive and very well written story.
The drama of your story does not reveal the greater (or actual) truth in the much larger story of data and yours is only a tree in that forest. The forest isn’t actually doing so well, and considering the amount of capital being invested it is doing terribly.
Money wasted on health care is money that could have been used elsewhere to save lives. I think it is absurd to suggest we need to spend twice as much as other modern and wealthy nations to get the mediocre results we get from our health care as a whole.
Our citizens are not living longer than those of other countries with more efficient health care, not even those with heart problems.
But I’m glad you survived, and like most Americans receiving the very best of our health care, I don’t blame you for not wanting to change anything, even though what we are doing weakens our country as a whole. We are the most individualist nation on the planet, and it’s worked so far. But the world is changing and a lot of our success was the result of unlimited land and unlimited expansion. Now we need to compete on a more level playing field- our population has doubled in my lifetime.
We need to be as smart as Germany, for instance, that has a private based health care system with excellent care on about 70 cents on every one of our dollars.
There are thousands of stories as impressive as yours about the victims of our health care system. Let’s start with the most obvious- two-thirds of people who file for bankruptcy in the U.S. cite medical issues as a key contributor to their financial downfall.
Bankruptcy is very bad for ones health and massive bankruptcy is very damaging to our economy, and when it is the result of health care expense it also contributes to the cost of insurance (a viscous cycle because the rest of us indirectly pay those bills).
Perhaps some of the money wasted in our system could be used to augment strategies to improve the American lifestyle.
“Decades of research has shown that eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, avoiding tobacco products and using medication to control blood pressure and cholesterol can drastically reduce the risk of heart disease.”
Public education costs money. So do public parks and playgrounds. When I went to school half a century ago, a lot more was invested in Phys. Ed. programs to insure all students got reasonable exercise.
Interestingly, even if you factor in obesity and other lifestyle issues, the English, with their half priced health care, live longer than we do. Focus on the last sentence of this paragraph.
In a comparison of the health of Americans and the English across the life span, from birth to age 80, the United States had a higher prevalence of obesity, lipid disorders, diabetes, and asthma (Martinson et al., 2011a). Among females, the United States also had a higher prevalence of hypertension, heart attack and angina, and stroke. The differences were as large for young people as for old people. The researchers found that the English advantage persisted even when the samples were restricted to whites, people with health insurance, nonsmokers, nondrinkers, individuals of normal weight, or those in specific income categories (Martinson et al., 2011a, 2011b).
So keep the anecdotal stories coming, they are the last defense for our failing system. I always love the ones about Canadian friends who saved their lives by getting medical help in the U.S. Somehow the stories never convince the Canadians to want to switch to the American system. Nor do statistics illustrate a significant failure of their system in sustaining the health of their citizens. They too have life expectancy that exceeds our own.
The future belongs to the efficient. Why can’t you have a basic single payer, universal medicare system that also offers enhanced coverage via insurance? Essentially, about a third of our health care comes this way already. Imagine how expensive overall U.S. health care would be without our medicare.
Most of us who have medicare wouldn’t give it up without a fierce fight. I’m now on Medicare and if I have chest pains, help is a phone call away.
Please read this and ask yourself if our country can continue to compete globally when such a high percentage of our GDP is in health care.
And how does this stack up to Drew’s statement about pharma research? From the ignoramuses at Harvard, I bring you-
The “most important factor” driving high drug costs in the U.S. are government-protected “monopoly” rights for drug manufacturers, according to a 2016 Harvard study. The study had five key findings:
- Unlike many other countries, prescription drug prices are not regulated or negotiated by the government.
- Drug manufacturers have a monopoly on new drugs. Under our patent system, drug companies can be the sole manufacturer of a new drug, preventing less expensive generics from coming to market. One issue is that companies can slightly tweak a drug to maintain the patent for longer.
- The FDA takes three to four years to approve a new drug.
- Patient consent laws can prevent pharmacies from providing less-expensive generics.
- Research and development costs don’t justify the high U.S. drug costs. About 10% to 20% of pharmaceutical company revenue is spend on R&D, the study said.
“Arguments in defense of maintaining high drug prices to protect the strength of the drug industry misstate its vulnerability,” the Harvard study said. “The biotechnology and pharmaceutical sectors have for years been among the very best-performing sectors in the U.S. economy.”
That quote comes from this. https://www.mlive.com/news/2017/07/6_reasons_us_health_care_is_so.html
So how informed are you really? What is the information your opinions are based on? I know… I know- in your heart you know you’re right.