Monday, November 2, 2009

Why Healthcare costs so much in the U.S.

Here's an interesting story in the Washington Post that links to charts comparing the costs of common healthcare usage units in the U.S. vs. other countries. His conclusion is that we don't necessarily consume more healthcare - it's just that we're paying alot more for the same thing - our system isn't very good at buying healthcare.

Average cost per hospital day:
U.S.: $3181
Canada: $837
France: $1050
Germany $550
Netherlands: $502
Spain: $579

This is just one of many chart comparisons shown. Really good stuff.

I think we've gotta admit something is seriously broken/wrong with our health care system before we're willing to move on to try something else. To a large degree I think simply the idea that centralized healthcare can work better than the free market alternative is "ideologically incompatible" with the standard American mental framework that we discard the possibility that the free market has completely failed the country when it comes to healthcare. It's not even a close debate in my book but we still want to hang onto this broken thing we have for some reason.

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