The Real Truth About Medical Costs in the U.S.
Some Crazy Facts
The USA spends more on medical costs than any other nation. 18 percent of GDP is spent on medical costs every year. (GDP = all the money spent by Americans in a given year). That same amount of money could be used to fund college for every 17 AND18 year old in America.
Spending more doesn’t mean we get better results. In fact, when looking at how much we spend on health care compared to outcomes, we place in 46th out of 48 countries.
Drug companies pay other drug companies not to compete with them.
We have a fee for service model, which means hospitals and doctors are paid based on how many services they provide — i.e. if you get an x-ray and an mri and have surgery, they charge for all 3 services. This creates a potential profit motive for hospitals to provide services that are not necessarily needed.
In fairness to hospitals and doctors, we also live in a lawsuit-ridden culture. So in order to defend from malpractice cases – doctors and hospitals may provide extra services to protect themselves. It’s always better for them to err on the side of more tests and drugs. The problem is that more tests + more drugs = higher costs.
Why We Should Care
Insanely high medical costs in this country is a problem for all of us: Even if you, every one of your friends and all your family members have insurance — because when someone else can’t afford to pay their medical bills, it falls on all of us as taxpayers to cover the costs, which is money we could put towards other things.
Our Time Opinion
Right now there is an inability to shop around for various prices. If people knew that were paying 15 times more at their hospital than a nearby hospital charges for the SAME PROCEDURE, wouldn’t that be better?