A survey released today by the Commonwealth Fund ranks the United States dead last in the quality of its healthcare system compared to ten other developed nations. At the same time, it's also the most expensive in the world.This of course is not new information to the people who have been listening. It would be stunning news for the people who put their fingers in their ears and insist that the US has the greatest health care system in the world. It MUST be because it cost the most.
Frustratingly, the new report (pdf) shows that the U.S. is not improving; it ranks last, just like it did in the 2010, 2007, 2006, and 2004 editions of the survey. Call it a ten-year losing streak.
Other nations evaluated in the survey included Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. The U.K., which spends just $3,405 per person on health care, ranked first overall among the 11 nations. Compare that to the United States' $8,508 per person.
As the ACA is implemented there is a sizable number of people who now have better access to what we've got but that legislation only funnels more money into the same inefficient and disorganized system. Given all of the political blood that has been shed in getting that up and running, any prospects for more fundamental reform are dismal to say the least.
I find it interesting that the UK consistently ranks first in most of the categories. It is by far the most socialized and the least privatized system of those evaluated. Even with the neoliberal austerity fetish of the present British government, they don't dare lay hands on the National Health Service. They would have an easier job of selling off the crown jewels.