Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Is Our Healthcare System Broken?

As the healthcare debate rages in congress, one should ask is our system broken or does it just need tweaking in certain areas.
Here are 10 interesting facts about the American Healthcare system. As you can see, the problem we have is the cost of healthcare, not the quality or the outcomes.

Fact No. 1: Americans have better survival rates than Europeans for common cancers.

Fact No. 2: Americans have lower cancer mortality rates than Canadians.

Fact No. 3: Americans have better access to treatment for chronic diseases than patients in other developed countries.

Fact No. 4: Americans have better access to preventive cancer screening than Canadians.

Fact No. 5: Lower income Americans are in better health than comparable Canadians.

Fact No. 6: Americans spend less time waiting for care than patients in Canada and the U.K.

Fact No. 7: People in countries with more government control of health care are highly dissatisfied and believe reform is needed

Fact No. 8: Americans are more satisfied with the care they receive than Canadians.

Fact No. 9: Americans have much better access to important new technologies like medical imaging than patients in Canada or the U.K

Fact No. 10: Americans are responsible for the vast majority of all health care innovations.

You can read more about this at:


But survival rates also differ within the United States, between insured and uninsured populations. The American Cancer Society found that the five-year survival rates for colorectal cancer averaged 63 percent for the privately insured but 49 percent for the uninsured. According to the Lancet study, five-year relative survival rates for colorectal cancer were 59.1 percent in the U.S. and 45.3 percent in Europe. Breast cancer survival rates among the uninsured were also similar to Europe – 85 percent survival for those with private insurance, 75 percent for the uninsured, close to the European average. Rates for people on Medicaid were similar to the uninsured.

So when you hear people say we need to provide national health insurance and because we don't we are condemning people to death, understand America's uninsured have about the same survival rate for cancers as do the nationally insured in Europe.

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