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Wasteful, greed-driven U.S. health system makes costs far higher than in Canada’s

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In another part of his Med Page Today series on how  and why Canadian and U.S. healthcare are so different, Michael Smith  looks at how the economic players drive up costs in the United States to maximize profit.

He notes:

  • “In 2014, according to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development(OECD), U.S. healthcare accounted for 17.1% of GDP — the highest by far among ranked nations — and about half of that was public money.
  • “In the same analysis, Canada spent about 10.4% of GDP, with slightly more than 70% coming from public sources.
  • “On a per capita basis the figures were $9,403 in the U.S. and $5,292 in Canada — both expressed in U.S. dollars.” {And Canadian costs are higher than Western Europe’s}

He refers to the observations of David Belk, M.D.:

On his Web site, “True Cost of Healthcare,” he catalogues where the money goes: drug companies set high prices for drugs, pharmacies overcharge, pharmacy benefit managers take a chunk of medication co-pays, and hospitals and doctors over bill in order to ensure that insurance companies pay them enough.

“But at the bottom, it is insurance that drives the engine of U.S. healthcare, Belk argues: ‘The health insurance companies bear most of the blame for why healthcare is so overpriced in the U.S.. They control most of the money that goes into healthcare and directly benefit from all of the obscurity and waste that exists in our system.”‘

 To read the piece, please this link.


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