What’s my personal experience with the US health care systems? Yes, systems- just as there’s not a single national automobile producer, there’s not a single health care system-it’s mostly a free market.
I’ve not experienced any serious problems that would cause me to believe our system is “broke” as many politicians would have us believe. I’m a member of the fortunate 85% of American with health insurance. Among the 15% without insurance, a portion don’t want it and another portion are transient-in other words the same people don’t make up the 15% every year.
Part of the system might be broken I don’t know. I don’t think anyone really knows but what I do know is politicians aren’t really stating facts or at least the important ones. Take for instance the following “facts.”
1. Health care expenditures as percent of GDP
a. 15% of America’s GDP spent on health care
b. 8% of Japan’s GDP spent on health care
2. Average life expectancy
a. 77 years is avg. American life span
b. 81 years is avg. Japanese life span
Now, why does anyone think the comparison of GDP and Life expectancy means anything? It really doesn’t. The two are not related in many ways. The only way they’d be related is if the general health of Americans and Japanese was the same. It isn’t. Consider…
a. 30% of Americans are obese
b. 3% of Japanese are obese
America’s obesity rate is approx. 10 times higher than Japan’s, that’s 1000%. From the average life expectancy we see that the average life expectancy in America is only 5% lower than in Japan.
One thousand percent higher obesity with only 5% lower life expectancy in my mind strong evidence that America’s health care system is working pretty good.
You see, lower demand means lower cost. As measure by obesity, Japan surely has less demand for health care than does America with 30% obesity. Higher demand means higher prices. As Japan continues becoming more and more “westernized” we should expect higher rates of obesity and heart disease and a corresponding increase in health care costs.
Still don’t believe me? Let’s look at it another way. Mexico is the nation with obesity rate nearly as high as the United States yet its average life span is nearly 8 years or 10% lower. Again we see that America’s health care system is better.
No, my little study isn’t exactly scientific but facts, at least the ones available, are facts. I don’t know if and how “broken” our health care systems are but it doesn’t seem logical or intelligent for politicians to want to fix something when they don’t really know where the problems are.
Both Democrats and Republicans are off balance and until they get balanced nothing will be improved it will only be different.
US Census Bureau