Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Money Driven Medicine

Increasingly, over the last century, the history of U.S. health care has been shaped by corporate interests' and market forces have splintered our health care system. As it is, $1 out of every $3 is wasted on redundant or ineffective treatments, and in ten years, health care costs will double. Costly and inefficient, our health care system ranks very low amongst industrialized nations.

-Health care spending is 4.3 times the amount spent on national defense

-U.S. health care spending reached $2.4 trillion last year/ est. $4.3 trillion in 2017

-U.S. spends 6 times more per capita to administer our health care system than its peer Western European nations

-We spend more on health care for nearly 46 million uninsured Americans than other industrialized nations who provide health insurance for all their citizens.

-Electronic medical records still are not a reality.

-20 percent of Americans visit an Emergency Room each year

-64 percent of U.S. residents are overweight (30 pounds over their proper weight)

-Health care expenditures continue to increase annually at twice the rate of inflation

-Our government currently pays more than 50 percent of all health care costs in America.

-80% of health care dollars are currently spent on patients who are chronically ill.
Market forces do not keep prices down in the health care market as they do in other markets. Normally, consumers have the power to bring prices down as producers compete with each other, because in other markets, consumers can afford to wait until prices fall to what they are willing to pay. Not so when it comes to health care. Sick people cannot wait for prices to fall. They can't comparison shop. They have no choices.

Money-Driven Medicine is a new documentary based on Maggie Mahar's book Money-Driven Medicine: The Real Reason Health Care Costs So Much

Healthbeat is Maggie Mahar's blog.

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