health

Liberal think tank ranks U.S. last in healthcare quality, first in healthcare expenses


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(NaturalNews) A recently released report by a noted think tank has ranked the United States dead last in the quality of its healthcare system as compared to 10 other Western, industrialized countries, which the group says is the same place the U.S. has occupied in four previous studies.

According to the report by the Commonwealth Fund (you can download a PDF of the report here), the U.S. not only failed to move up between 2004 and 2014, as did other nations with concerted effort and major reforms, but the country has also remained last while spending far more per capita ($8,508) on healthcare than Norway ($5,669), owner of the second-most expensive system.

"Although the U.S. spends more on health care than any other country and has the highest proportion of specialist physicians, survey findings indicate that from the patients' perspective, and based on outcome indicators, the performance of American health care is severely lacking," the think tank, a foundation in New York that promotes improved healthcare, concluded in its lengthy analysis.

A little bias in the research, perhaps?

The think tank was quick to point out that its data for the 2014 report was collected before Obamacare went into full effect, so it's possible that those "reforms" could eventually lift the U.S. out of last place, in part by providing coverage to the 30-40-50 million Americans (depending on whose numbers you use) who did not have health insurance before the Affordable Care Act was passed. Then again, it may take even longer to get full accounting, because the president has unilaterally delayed implementation of substantial portions of the law, for political reasons.

In any event, the think tank's report says that the nation's healthcare problems are so pervasive that it is likely to take more than better access to the system and equity of coverage to solve them. More on that in a moment.

As reported by The Washington Post:

Karen Davis, a professor in the Bloomberg School of Public Health at Johns Hopkins University and lead author of the study, said overall improvement "is a matter of accountability, having information on your performance relative to your peers and being held accountable to achieving a kind of care that patients should expect to get."

Americans who have watched the "healthcare debate" unfold since Obama took office have been told on a regular basis that the "model" system is the British universal, single government payer system, and of course, right on cue, this latest think tank "study" ranks Britain No. 1 overall at spending just $3,405 per person on healthcare.

The United States, meanwhile, "ranks behind most countries on many measures of health outcomes, quality, and efficiency."

So, Britain is better, huh?

Well, we shouldn't expect this report to come to any different conclusions than those arrived at; after all, this think tank is uber-liberal and, as other analysts point out, the study is flawed because it was skewered to arrive at a preconceived notion (spoiler alert: The Commonwealth Fund favors socialized medicine).

The first tip-off, as noted by Philip Klein over at InsuranceNews.net, is that the study ranks Britain's National Health Service (NHS) as No. 1. Even the British know better than that.

As reported by Britain's Telegraph in 2012:

Patients are 45% more likely to die in NHS hospitals than in US ones, according to figures revealing how badly England's health service compares with those of other countries

Previously unpublished data collated by Professor Sir Brian Jarman over more than 10 years found NHS mortality rates were among the worst of those in seven developed countries.

A patient in England was five times as likely to die of pneumonia and twice as likely to die of septicaemia compared to similar patients in the US, the leading country in the study, the data suggested.


How is it possible, then, for a U.S. think tank to proclaim the British NHS the world's best, and to do so with a straight face? And why would endless U.S. media outlets (Google this) regurgitate the think tank's "findings" without doing what we have done here at Natural News -- researching the issue?

Can you say "propaganda">?

There needs to be improvement in healthcare delivery in the U.S.; we could start by reducing government involvement in, and interference with, that delivery. Doing that alone will increase access, because Americans will be more free to pursue the kind of treatment they choose, not that which is chosen for them.

Sources:

http://www.journalgazette.net

http://www.commonwealthfund.org [PDF]

http://insurancenewsnet.com

http://www.telegraph.co.uk

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