According to a survey by the Commonwealth Fund, Americans with chronic illnesses struggle more to pay their medical bills or need more help than their counterparts in other high-income countries. The survey studied 18,000 adults not in the United States, but in ten other countries around the world. Politicians and policymakers who advocate for health care reform have used past reports by the nonpartisan group. Chances are this one will be touted as a strong argument.
“Despite spending far more on health care than any other country, the United States practically stands alone when it comes to people with illness or chronic conditions having difficulty affording health care and paying medical bills,” said Karen Davis, Commonwealth Fund president, according to the Commonwealth Fund website.
The survey, which took place over the telephone, included those who were in fair or good health, had surgery in the recent years, or were treated for a serious illness or injury in the past year.
42 percent of the 1,200 U.S. adults in the survey went without care, visiting a doctor, or not getting a prescription filled, because of costs. More than a quarter (27 percent) said they couldn’t pay, the study found. The comparison with countries like Australia, Great Britain, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, and Switzerland, reveals at the most a 41-point gap. Those countries had between 1 and 14 percent.
More than seven out of ten people in Britain, Switzerland, France, New Zealand, and the Netherlands were found to be able to get an appointment for their illnesses on the same day or the next. Half of the Canadian and Swiss patients are able to get the same speedy care.
51 percent of adults under the age of 65 didn’t have care because of the costs when compared to those older than 65, who were under Medicare. (See www.commonwealthfund.org)
With these stats how are we as Americans still able to say with a straight face we have the best health care system in the world? Remarks about how having universal health care will lead to “rationed care” in the country would be right if we didn’t already have it. Ask anyone who is not able to pay for an operation.
It’s a tragedy that we have such wealth yet people are still progressively getting sick and dying from lack of care. While the citizens of other countries are getting adequate health care – the monetary issues presently plaguing the countries are the result of something else – America’s version of health care are nothing but bad jokes on our behalf.
When you combine the lack of universal health care with the assault on social entitlement programs like social security, unemployment benefits, Medicaid, etc., how do you think we look to any other country? What will happen to your loved ones when they are unable to get what they need because there is no government program for it? I’ll tell you what will happen: people will look back and wonder why they permitted this attack to happen, but it will be too late to change it.