The Most Efficient Health Care Systems In The World? Hint: The USA is NOT One of Them

As supporters and opponents of the Affordable Care Act debate the best way to overhaul a clearly broken health care system, it's perhaps helpful to put American medicine in a global perspective.

The infographic below is based on a recent Bloomberg ranking of the most efficient countries for health care, and highlights enormous gap between the soaring cost of treatment in the U.S. and its quality and effectiveness. To paraphrase Ricky Ricardo, the American health care system has a lot of 'splainin' to do.

It's remarkable how low America places in health care efficiency: among the 48 countries included in the Bloomberg study, the U.S. ranks 46th, outpacing just Serbia and Brazil. Once that sinks in, try this one on for size: the U.S. ranks worse than China, Algeria, and Iran.

But the sheer numbers are really what's humbling about this list: the U.S. ranks second in health care cost per capita ($8,608), only to be outspent by Switzerland ($9,121) -- which, for the record, boasts a top-10 health care system in terms of efficiency. Furthermore, the U.S. is tops in terms of health care cost relative to GDP, with 17.2 percent of the country's wealth spent on medical care for every American.

In other words, the world's richest country spends more of its money on health care while getting less than almost every other nation in return.

Full article here.

Oncologists Call for Single Payer in Leading Cancer Journal

Article in leading cancer journal calls on oncologists to support single-payer national health insurance

“With the costs of cancer care skyrocketing out of control, most people with cancer are burdened not only physically but also financially,” said Dr. Drasga, the lead author. “They delay or do not receive care due to their inability to pay.

“The crisis in health care is much more pronounced in cancer due to the high costs of drugs, tests, and procedures,” he said. “For example, the cost of a new cancer drug has increased to a median price of $10,000 per month since 2010, and some drugs cost much more.

“The situation is worsening,” he said. “We need a fundamental shift in our approach to funding health care in the United States.”

The authors ask their fellow oncologists and their society, ASCO, to endorse a single-payer system of national health care insurance. They say they do not believe that the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” will be able to solve the health care crisis that cancer patients face.

Full article here