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We are Definitely Not Getting Our Money’s Worth!


Poor performance of the U.S. health care system

World Health Organization: 2005 and 2006

We're not getting our money's worth!

Permission for use obtained from www.yesmagazine.org

The source of the image is here: http://www.yesmagazine.org/article.asp?ID=1510 (the last image)

The graph above shows only one of the health statistics for which the United States ranks poorly: life expectancy. In general, U.S. health outcomes are poor compared to other countries. The graph also shows the results of our very fragmented, complex, inefficient “system” of health insurance: the United States spends dramatically more for health care per person than other countries. We, the people, need to know and keep in mind that lonely red square in the graph below and its description in the black box. We can and will do better with single-payer national health insurance.

Health Affairs and PNHP: 2007

2007 Update that we are not getting our money’s worth

  • In 2004, U.S. health care spending per capita was 2.5 times greater than health spending in the median Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) country and much higher than health spending in any other OECD country. The United States had fewer physicians, nurses, hospital beds, doctor visits, and hospital days per capita than the median OECD country. Source: Health Affairs September/October 2007
  • Excerpts of Comment section By Don McCanne, MD: (This report is an update of the 2003 Health Affairs article by Anderson, et al, “It’s the Prices, Stupid.”) … So we pay far more for health care, but we are not receiving any more care than is delivered in other nations. In fact, this article states, “the availability of health care resources and the actual use of services in the United States were below those of most industrialized countries.”

The United States is the only country of the 27 free-market, high-income industrialized countries in the world without Health Care for All. The United States is the only industrialized country in the world that has a significant amount of for-profit financing for health care.1


  1. All other industrialized nations exclusively, or almost exclusively, use non-profit financing of their health care in such a way that every person is insured and that there is “health care for all.” We must eliminate what makes us unique: financial profits at the expense of our nation’s health. We need non-profit single-payer national health insurance. back

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