US Healthcare vs. the Rest of the World

The state of the United States today is extremely fragile. Lawmakers are at war with one another over how to reduce our deficit while increasing our quality of living, and there is no end to the debate in sight. At the very core of this struggle over our future is a basic human necessity: health care. Many other developed nations have worked out sustainable models for health care, but in the US, costs are higher and quality of care is worse. The recent passage of health care reform is aimed at fixing our broken system, but many of us want to know: why is our health care so expensive in the first place? Medical Billing and Coding present part one of a two-part series detailing why our health care system is lagging behind those of other wealthy nations, both in affordability and in effectiveness.

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  1. rjs's Gravatar Comment by rjs on April 20th, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    for a very detailed breakdown of our healthcare costs compared to the rest of the world, see the series of 12 posts by health care economist aaron carroll at the incidental economist, all linked here:

  2. Sick's Gravatar Comment by Sick on April 20th, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    Well, pay up!.. The country elected lots of republicans. Pay up, travel to another country for medical help, or die.

  3. Kurt Belyeu's Gravatar Comment by Kurt Belyeu on April 20th, 2011 at 8:32 pm

    This article is BS… I would definitely concede that the health care costs in the US are the highest in the world but the services rendered are well above that of any nation.

    If this isn’t so then why do so many dignitaries come to the US for medical care while paying out of their own pockets?


  4. oddstray's Gravatar Comment by oddstray on April 20th, 2011 at 9:00 pm

    Promising, but so far there’s no indication of *why*!

  5. losdos2007's Gravatar Comment by losdos2007 on April 21st, 2011 at 4:28 am

    I can’t take this infographic seriously if it ranks the UK as 2nd! Yes, the NHS (National Health Service) is free, but it is one of the worst in Europe in terms of quality.

  6. Wahyu's Gravatar Comment by Wahyu on April 21st, 2011 at 6:00 am

    you create a group of health care costs are very detailed, I was interested to read it and study it.

  7. Rixar13's Gravatar Comment by Rixar13 on April 21st, 2011 at 7:06 am

    LIke my man George Carlin said, “Something is Fucking Wrong Here.”

  8. chademe's Gravatar Comment by chademe on April 21st, 2011 at 9:36 am

    Does this take into account the taxes paid to support their healthcare system?

    Even if our costs are more expensive, that doesn’t mean that a national healthcare system is the cure. A lot of the costs are due to malpractice insurance, which isn’t as much of an issue in other nations.

    Also, since this is an average of costs, it’s possibly skewed by very expensive treatment that is performed in the US that might not be allowed in other countries due to its high cost.

  9. akice fearnes's Gravatar Comment by akice fearnes on April 22nd, 2011 at 2:36 am

    So why are so many countries now trying to convert their health services into some private nightmare based on the US model?

  10. ozzie's Gravatar Comment by ozzie on April 22nd, 2011 at 9:54 pm

    I was recently in Tijuana, Maxico. Visiting friend.

    While in there the mather of my friend suffer a hearth attack. he called the ambulance and she was tranported to the U.S.A. border.

    When she was tranfer my friend ask how much was the charge for their sevices. THEIR ANSWER WAS “NOTHING”. He tried to tip them and they refused to accept. They told my friend that if he wanted to help just give a couple of dollars when they have a collection drive in the streets.

    Afterr the lady was transported about 5 miles to the U.S.A. hospital in california. a few days later he got a bill for $1,500.00 dollars for the American ambulance service.

    The Mexican ambulance was newer and superbly equipped.


  11. Kenneth's Gravatar Comment by Kenneth on April 23rd, 2011 at 4:37 pm

    It seems to me that the person who wrote this article left out the most costly item.. Supplying free health care for those that won’t take care of their own health; ( using drugs and alcohol and smokeing, overeating and spending most of their time as a couch potato)all paid for by the taxpayer.

    Wak3e up world: We do not owe you free health care or a free living.

  12. BettyLaVerne's Gravatar Comment by BettyLaVerne on April 25th, 2011 at 10:29 am

    The basic problem with healthcare here is that there is no disclosure of costs, prior to purchasing. And, there is no uniformity of costs; a mammogram can cost $140.00 or $1400.00 depending on where you go. While Americans lose their healthcare benefits, as fewer employees offer them, the hospitals, doctors and nursing homes are still making husge profits. Definitely a broken system.
    Anyone need an overseas operation ? Unthinkable a few years ago, but, many must consider it today!TX for the great graphics!

  13. Werrf's Gravatar Comment by Werrf on April 28th, 2011 at 6:42 am

    Having lived in the UK and the US, I’d have to say that quality of care between the two as far as I’ve seen – at least in terms of regular GP visits and similar – is very close to equal between the two, but the paperwork, expenses, stress and powerlessness are immeasurably worse in the US.

    The theory that patients having a choice of hospital or other service provider will result in better quality and lower prices is totally undercut by the restrictions enforced by corporate entities whose only goal is to increase their profit margin. If you want to go to a better hospital, you can’t if it’s out of network; if you want to go to a cheaper hospital, you can’t, because you can’t even find out what something is going to cost.

  14. Jami's Gravatar Comment by Jami on May 2nd, 2011 at 9:09 pm

    I just love the intelligent, insightful folk who complain that taxpayers are somehow paying for someone not paying taxes to have some sort of quality of life that they are somehow being cheated out of by paying taxes. Especially when it comes to healthcare or foodstamps. I think those people “rule” and should keep up their way of thinking, because it is totally working for them!

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