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us-health-care-spending-highHealth Care Expenses High

We all need health care and many of us, sadly either don't have it, or have to pay an astronomical amount for it.  The scary thing is that recently a new report stated that even though we are spending more on health care, we might not be getting the quality treatment we need.  Americans are plunking down more money for health care than 12 other nations, and spending more on health care doesn't mean we are getting better treatment than those countries.   We are struggling.  We are confused.  But it is always good to know the latest on health care research.  Here is some information you may find helpful.

Why is Health Care so Expensive?

New Zealanders and the Japanese spend only one third of what Americans spend on health care, according to numbers from 2009.  And if that isn't strikingly notable, Americans ages 5 to 39 with asthma are more likely to die in the United States than other countries.  We also are poorly ranked when it comes to diabetics that end up having to have amputations.  Our ranking on stroke death and heart attacks is about average compared to other countries in the world.

Many think that Americans have better health coverage and get more attention than the rest of the world.  But what most don't understand is that we do not go to the doctor or hospital as much as other countries.  As a result, we pay higher prices for health care and have cutting edge, yet expensive technology, which explains why we pay more.  But studies are showing that even though the aforementioned reasons exist, the quality of our health care could still be better.

Health Care Statistics

A report released on Thursday of last week analyzed the larger, more developed countries, such as New Zealand, Sweden, Canada, France, Australia, Switzerland, Japan, the Netherlands, Denmark, the United Kingdom and the United States.  The United States is the only nation of all listed that doesn't offer universal health care.  But in 2009 we were ranked first (in front of the Netherlands) on how much money we steered toward health care. 

It's looking like even though we are spending a lot of money, we are going to be looking at less ability to access doctors than the other countries.  It is reported that we have almost 2.5 doctors for every 100,000 Americans.  Only Japan is doing worse than that.  We also are behind Sweden when it comes to rate of doctor consultations, less hospital beds and shorter hospital stays in emergency situations, along with a low rate of being discharged from the hospital.

Good News on Health Care

The United States ranks number one for breast cancer survival rates, and is also tied for first with Norway for colorectal cancer patient survival. And we need to realize that while our costs are higher right now, other major countries are struggling as well with how to provide good health care.  There are also laws in place in the US, such as "The Affordable Care Act," which aims to revamp health care making it less expensive and providing good, quality care.  Hopefully our legislators are listening to us and using the laws that are in place to help us save money on health care.
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