Thursday, March 28, 2013

More charts illustrating high American health costs


Here's a link to another useful set of charts about the high costs of the American health care system. (You can see a previous post on this topic here.) This one shows prices in the US for various drugs, diagnostic tests, and procedures - like an appendectomy, illustrated in the screenshot  - compared with other countries. Guess what? Every single one of them is highest in the US, by a lot. This Atlantic.com column by Derek Thompson offers the beginnings of an explanation:
Why is American health care so expensive? Books could be written about this topic. And books have been written about this topic. In The Healing of America, T. D. Reid explored why American medicine falls behind other countries in quality while it races far ahead in cost of care.
Near the end of the book, Reid expands on two big reasons why U.S. health care is so expensive: (1) Unlike other countries, the U.S. government doesn't manage prices; and (2) the complications created by our for-profit system adds tremendous costs.

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