Jay Fitzgerald at the Herald chortles that “All is not well in Utopia”, since like many countries, Germany is indeed facing some serious problems in its health care system.
And yet, and yet … I’m just going to copy what I wrote at Jay’s blog:
Jay, every countryâs got health care problems. No place is perfect. But if you want to talk about costs â¦ the US pays by far the most for health care, we still have 40 million+ folks uninsured, and we donât get better results.
In 2004, health care spending in the United States reached $1.9 trillion, and was projected to reach $2.9 trillion in 2009 (2). Health care spending is 4.3 times the amount spent on national defense (4). In 2004, the United States spent 16 percent of its gross domestic product (GDP) on health care. It is projected that the percentage will reach 20 percent in the next decade (2). Although nearly 46 million Americans are uninsured, the United States spends more on health care than other industrialized nations, and those countries provide health insurance to all their citizens. (4) Health care spending accounted for 10.9 percent of the GDP in Switzerland, 10.7 percent in Germany, 9.7 percent in Canada and 9.5 percent in France, according to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. (5)
And if all that sounds utterly perverse, youâre right. The results are overwhelming: big bad old government-run health care is more efficient and more effective than what weâve got in the US. Full stop.
Hereâs an article on a government agency that does it right: The Veteransâ Administration. Most people donât know that contrary to the bad rap they earned in the 70âs, they do pretty well these days.
… So, letâs boil this down:
Health Care spending by % of GDP:
# of uninsured folks:
US: 46 million
Life expectancy: US: 77.1 years
Germany: 78.3 years
Before we take the speck out of Germanyâs eye, letâs remove the plank from our own.
I might add two things: