The next time one of those conservative Republican/Tea Partiers bring up OBAMACARE take the opportunity to educate them on why healthcare costs so much in this country. Don't expect any applause.
The United States spends more than $2.5 trillion a year on healthcare, or more than $8,000 per person. That is 21/2 times as much as the average spent by other industrialized nations, according to data collected by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, whose members include the richest nations.
Studies show that the high cost of U.S. healthcare is driven in large part by prices. American hospitals and doctors charge much more than their international counterparts.
But U.S. physicians also perform many more tests and elective procedures. For example, American doctors order nearly twice as many CT and MRI exams as doctors in other industrialized countries do. They perform more knee replacements and deliver more babies by caesarean section.
Some of this extra care may result in better outcomes. The U.S. has some of the highest cancer survival rates in the world, for instance.
But America lags far behind other industrialized countries in caring for children with asthma and adults with chronic bronchitis and emphysema, among other illnesses.
A growing number of experts have concluded that much medical care in the U.S. is wasteful and even dangerous for patients. A 2012 report from the independent Institute of Medicine estimated total waste in the system at 30%, or $750 billion a year.
Choosing Wisely | Consumer Health Choices