Thursday, March 12, 2009

US Gets Less Value for Its Health Care Dollar

A new report from the Business Roundtable, which represents CEOs of major companies, says America's health care system has become a liability in a global economy. The report says Americans in 2006 spent $1,928 per capita on health care, at least two-and-a-half times more per person than any other advanced country.

The report added a new wrinkle by taking those those costs and factoring benefits into the equation. It compares statistics on life expectancy, death rates and even cholesterol readings and blood pressures. The health measures are factored together with costs into a 100-point "value" scale. That hasn't been done before, the authors said.

The results - the United States is 23 points behind five leading economic competitors: Canada, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom and France. The five nations cover all their citizens, and though their systems differ, in each country the government plays a much larger role than in the U.S.
The cost-benefit disparity is even wider — 46 points — when the U.S. is compared with emerging competitors: China, Brazil and India.


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