Americans spend a lot, get little in health care

info@islandpacket.comNovember 13, 2013 

The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is bad legislation. It is a very complex, expensive and inefficient way to deal with our nation's lack of a national health care system. The reason we have such a lousy law is that it is the best deal the Obama administration could get through the Democratic-controlled Congress without any Republican support.

According to the World Health Organization, the United States spent more on health care per capita ($8,608), and more on health care as percentage of its GDP (17.2 percent), than any other nation in 2011. Yet, the American life expectancy of 78.4 years ranks 27th out of the 34 industrialized Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development countries.

Of 17 high-income countries studied by the National Institute of Health in 2013, the United States had the highest or near-highest prevalence of infant mortality, heart and lung disease, sexually transmitted infections, adolescent pregnancies, injuries, homicides, and disabilities.

Although the Affordable Care Act will start to address these problems by extending coverage to 40-plus million Americans and helping to close gaps for others -- leading to improved disease management, care coordination, and better outcomes -- we would be better off with a "Public Option," and better still with a "Single Payer" -- like Medicare for all -- health care system.

Frank Flaumenhaft

Hilton Head Island

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