The insurance lobbies and medical service industry propagandists love to report the horror stories about wait lists in nations with universal coverage. It’s true they do ration care. But there’s rationing in any system. The question is fairness. The US system rations, but it does so arbitrarily, capriciously, and unfairly. Rationing in countries with universal health care is typically based on the severity of the illness.
The statistical studies are the best indicators of which systems work the best for the most. For simplicity sake I pulled all the stats that I could find from the WHO database with relevant data for the US, UK, and Canada, on health care infrastructures, costs, and overall health measures. I suspect there are other countries with varying government run systems, either single payer or regulated mandatory insurance, whose stats may be better than the UK or Canada, but these are the two countries the US is most often compared to.
So here are the stats.
The US is the richest of the 3 countries, has the most doctors per capita, the most medical lab workers per capita, the most pharmaceutical workers, and lowest government contribution toward total health care expenditures and the highest private contribution. The US also has by far the highest total per capita spending on health care– nearly double that of Canada, and more than double that of the UK. It spends by far the highest percentage of GDP on health care. Yet in 11 of these 12 broad measures of health the US was the worst of the 3.
And now, I wasn’t cherry picking the data. These were the broadest, most common measures available in the WHO database. I’m sure there are categories where the US leads, like the most superheroic surgical outcomes on people over 90 with Medicare supplemental insurance whose quality of life after surgery will be crap, but other than that, in the broad measures that matter to the most people, the US fails.
It’s pretty clear that the extra 100% we pay to support the for-profit system is great for the insurance executives, pharma executives and marketing shills, and medical specialists, but it is completely wasted in terms of overall outcomes. The American people are not only being ripped off by these criminals, but they are being brainwashed into believing they are getting the best health care in the world. The medical industry fat cats are skimming 50 cents of every health care dollar to support their evil pursuit of power and wealth at the expense of the American people. They have done a masterful job of duping the American people into thinking that they have the best health care, when by virtually every statistical measure, the US has the most expensive, the most unfair and, in fact, the absolute worst medical services delivery system in the industrialized world.