Don't get sick here

Kevin Drum digs a bit into a new study by The Commonwealth Fund that shows just how inefficient American health care is. Not only are we spending nearly double the amount per person than any of the other countries in the study, but the quality of our care is amazingly poor.

Now without having a chance to look further into it, a few things do stick out. For one, how did New Zealand get selected as one of the comparative countries? No offense to the Kiwis, but it's hardly a populous country, and overseeing the healthcare of a country smaller than New Mexico can't be all that difficult, right? Also, I've heard so much about the fantastic healthcare systems of France and Sweden, so I'm curious as to why those were not included.

Along those same lines, it is interesting to note that the countries that performed best in the survey were the smallest ones, while Canada and the U.S. performed the worst. I'd be interesting to look further into whether the size of a country makes it more difficult to manage quality healthcare, or if Canada and the U.S. just suck.

The one interesting takeaway from this study is that, despite the fact that Americans and Canadians get equally poor care, we still pay twice as much to get taken care of badly than the Canucks. And with all of the horror stories you hear about Canadian healthcare (it takes six months to get an MRI, there's an eight year waiting list for hip replacements, Parkinson's patients get beaten with a stick every Thursday), that ought to strike a chord with Americans.

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