Friday, June 26, 2009

Ramblings on the US healthcare systems

I could not help myself to commentBoing Boing - A directory of wonderful thingss on this post: Health insurance versus health - Boing Boing

Just some facts:
- the US spends almost twice as much on health (about 16% of the GDP) than France
- yet, France has "free" care and a much higer life expectancy (one of the highest in the World, certainly the highest in France or top 3, depending on the stats.
- there is a good basic service, supplemented by US style private insurance
- you can also go to a commercial hospital, go see a GP privately, etc...

In the end, you have to rationally accept that some services (street lighting) will never be profitable and should stay public. Not only this, but you should also accept that the nation overall has to pay for a minority (education is another example).

For others, it is debatable whether competition is a great benefit for the consumer to enrich shareholders if prices aren't going to go down. The failure of UK rail privatisation, with higher prices and not much other benefits, is an example.
But deregulation was good for telecoms -remember those international call charges 30 years ago? Do you think we'd have the iPhone and Blackberries if telephones were ran by the Bells and AT&T?

Back to insurance, I'm left to wonder why Americans still accept an unfair and expensive system?
My best guess is it's the weight of lobbies in Washington, where policy has ceased a long time to be in favour of the majority of citizens.

, ,

No comments: