US scores dead last in global health survey

Ethan A. Huff
The Commonwealth Fund recently released a report that places the U.S. last among six other developed countries in terms of quality of health care. According to the report, U.S. health care costs are roughly twice as much as they are in other countries, but the care is not as good or as efficient.

The report includes comparisons between the U.S. health care system and those of Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, and the U.K. However the criteria used by the foundation to assess and score the countries is based more on differing health care philosophies among nations rather than actual quality of care.

In fact, all the other nations included in the survey have “universal health insurance”, which is noted in the report as being one of the biggest differences. It does mention, however, that the “health reform legislation” recently passed in the U.S. will help to bump it up some in the foundation’s view.

The report does highlight the fact that health spending in the U.S. is typically much higher per person than it is in other developed nations. According to the report, health spending per person in the U.S. averaged more than $7,000 in 2007, while spending ranged from between about $2,500 and $4,000 in the other countries assessed.

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