The Washington Post today reports on an amazing and disturbing fact of the modern American medical system, we spend more per person on health care than any nation in the world but lose more people to preventable illnesses than all but four of the nineteen "industrialized countries."
We don't merely spend more for less, on average we spend almost two and a half times as much as the other eighteen countries for vastly less. How can this be?
Much of this stems from the fact that those who are adequately insured get the benefit of the latest technologies and medicines. There also is the fact that physicians are paid more here, health insurance companies take a larger cut and that treatment often involves more use of prescriptions and surgical procedures.
The problem is that tens of millions of Americans have no insurance and do not get routine care. Diabetes is controllable but not if you don't have access to any care. The uninsured often can't afford prescriptions, dentistry, screening for chronic diseases and routine care.
Consequently, any care they receive is at an acute stage in their disease process, when curing is far more difficult and expensive leading to "preventable death."
The bottom-line the richest nation in the world could provide routine health care for everyone, decrease "preventable deaths" and save money.