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Health care reform

U.S. health care reform? Status quo profits handsomely the way things are

Sunday, March 18, 2007 by: David Gutierrez, staff writer
Tags: health care reform, health news, Natural News

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(NewsTarget) A new study reveals how much doctors, drug companies, hospitals and insurance companies are profiting from the fact that the health-care system in the United States is the most expensive in the industrialized world. The study, conducted by the McKinsey Global Institute, calculated that the United States spends almost twice as much on health care each year as the average of other industrialized countries, to produce equal or even inferior care.

Jump directly to: conventional view | alternative view | bottom line

What you need to know - Conventional View

• According to the study, the United States spends $477 billion more on health care yearly than 13 other highly industrialized nations, even after adjusting for factors such as wealth and different population health profiles. This comes out to 3.6 percent of the country's Gross Domestic Product.

• U.S. doctors make substantially more than their foreign counterparts, averaging $274,000 a year for specialists and $173,000 for general practitioners. This comes out to 6.6 and 4.2 times the income of their average patient, compared with 4 and 3.2 times in the other countries studied.

• This overspending on doctors - $58 billion a year even after deducting insurance costs - comes because U.S. doctors see more patients and prescribe more procedures than those in other countries.

• Contrary to popular impression, doctors are not forced to see more patients and prescribe more procedures in order to pay off their school loans. U.S. doctors actually make more money relative to their debt at graduation than other professionals with advanced degrees.

• Patients in the United States pay higher prices for hospitals - four times more per day - and higher prices for drugs - 60 to 70 percent more - than those in other industrialized countries. Together, this overspending amounts to $281 billion annually.

• Quote: "What we have here is pretty good circumstantial evidence of Pearlstein's First Law of Health Economics, which holds that if you pay doctors on the basis of how many procedures they do, and you leave it to doctors and their insured patients to decide how much health care they get, consumption of health services will rise to whatever level is necessary for doctors to earn as much as the lawyers who sue them." - Steven Pearlstein, business columnist for The Washington Post(/em>

What you need to know - Alternative View

Statements and opinions by Mike Adams, author of Natural Health Solutions and the Conspiracy to Keep You From Knowing About Them

• The health care industry has devolved into a profit-generating racket that seeks to turn human beings into revenue generation machines. The overuse of antibiotics, pharmaceuticals, surgical procedures, lab tests and cancer treatments is primarily based on the fact that these generate profits, not that they are medically justified or even effective for patients.

• Much of conventional medicine, as practiced today, is a grand hoax. For most degenerative diseases, health care does not make patients healthier, nor does it prevent disease in any meaningful way. Americans are being ripped off while being told we have "the best health care system in the world." We don't.

Bottom line

• U.S. patients pay vastly more for health services than people in other countries.

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