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Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Myths and facts about why the cost of healthcare is so high in America

Myth # 1 - We drink and smoke to much. We do but Europeans do both a lot more than we do.

Myth # 2 - America has a larger elderly population. We don't.

Myth # 3 - Obesity in America skyrockets costs. It is a problem but the total cost is estimated at about $25 billion, a small fraction of overall costs.

Myth # 4 - Malpractice costs are out of control. Malpractice adds 2% to the cost of healthcare. Still too high but most malpractice suits are not frivolous as some claim.

Truth # 1 - Providers charge more because they can. On average, medication costs 118% what it does in other countries. The Bush Medicare Prescription Act for example forbade the government from negotiating for lower prices.

Truth # 2 - Administrative overhead is out of control. 21% of our excess spending on health care is administrative and is double the cost per capital of the next highest country.

Truth # 3 - Massive outpatient costs. Hospitals provide incentives for quicker procedures to get higher profits.

Truth # 4 - Doctors are overpaid. In America doctors make 5 times more than their patients. In other developed countries they make 3 times more than their patients.

More details here,

Despite all these facts and myths Republicans think the solution is twofold. One is to limit malpractice suits and let the free market work its magic. With economic power concentrated more and more in the hands of a few corporations the 'free' market is becoming more and more a myth.

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