A recent study conducted by Dr. Ashish Jha, the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, set out to answer the question: “Why is health care spending in the US so much greater than in other high-income countries?” To do this, his team compared healthcare data from the US with those of 10 of the highest-income countries. Some background: In 2016, the US spent 17.8% of its GDP on health care, and spending in the other countries ranged from 9.6% (Australia) to 12.4% (Switzerland). The net-net: “utilization rates in the US were largely similar to those in other nations. Prices of labor and goods, including pharmaceuticals, and administrative costs appeared to be the major drivers of the difference.” Admin costs seem like a bad place to spend money, so in the immortal words of Leslie Chow, “give me my 80-grand back.” [WARNING: Language]
If you’re one of the estimated 60 million Americans who fill out a NCAA basketball bracket each year, then this story will resonate with you. But, you’re about to feel much worse about your health system. The New York Times decided to play bracketology with the health systems from Canada, Britain, Singapore, Germany, Switzerland, France, Australia and the U.S. by having five experts pick which system was better in head-to-head match-ups, with the winner advancing. In the end, Switzerland won, with Germany as a close second. France defeated the US in round two by a 3-2 vote. This writer is quick to acknowledge there are many different lenses through which a system can be evaluated. InsightCity readers, what do you say? Bring on the comments.