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The Price of Health Care Around the World: 2010 Update

06 Dec

Last year, I ran a series of posts that explored the costs of care for diagnostic imaging, physician fees, hospital stays, laboratory tests, and prescription medications in the United States and several other nations. As you might recall, we don’t do very well, paying more than every place else on Earth for the same things it seems. You’d think we, as Americans, would be a bit miffed if we found out that the new high-definition 3-D television we bought for $3,000 was available for $1,450 in Germany or $950 in Argentina. That’s the reality of what we pay for health care compared to other countries, but our outrage is minimal. In fact, plenty of people in this country don’t even believe it’s true–or that somehow what we’re getting is better–after all, it must be–because we pay more for it. Sadly, that’s just not true. Anyway, the latest report from the International Federation of Health Plans has just been released. If you’re curious whether the U.S. has improved its international standing, you should look it over.

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2 Comments

Posted by on December 6, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

2 responses to “The Price of Health Care Around the World: 2010 Update

  1. Jan Baer

    December 6, 2010 at 1:41 pm

    People care about TV prices because they pay for their own TVs. Not so with health care, where insurance has distanced the patient/consumer from the cost. Most hospitals only grudgingly provide an itemized bill to the patient. They seem to prefer that the patient never see it. The same is sometimes true with other health care providers; the patient knows only what their co-pay is. Why should Americans care about the price if someone else is paying for it? And I'm not talking about Medicare/Medicaid patients here – I refer to people with group insurance. Many of the largest companies and employers, such as universities and the big auto makers, are self -insured, meaning that they actually pay all the claims themselves. The "insurer" is just the underwriter who administers the insurance plan. Those Americans who live with this sort of health insurance want to keep things just the way they are. As far as they can see, American health care is working just fine.

     
  2. Traci F

    December 6, 2010 at 5:11 pm

    " In fact, plenty of people in this country don't even believe it's true–or that somehow what we're getting is better–after all, it must be–because we pay more for it. "We're #1 (in overcharging to make a profit off a somebody's health)!

     

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