Spending More on Health Care, Getting Less

Monday, December 09, 2013

Elizabeth Bradley and Lauren Taylor explain how it’s possible that the United States spends more on health care but suffers worse outcomes than other industrialized nations. They argue that the lack of investment in social services is part of the reason why.  In The American Health Care Paradox: Why Spending More Is Getting Us Less, Bradley and Taylor look at how divisions in the distribution of health and social services and our resistance to government programs create needless suffering and lead to soaring health costs. They also look at the problems the Affordable Care Act won’t solve and think about possibilities for reform.


Elizabeth Bradley and Lauren Taylor

Comments [13]

jf from DYSTOPIA

It's really quite simple. Cut the mass murder budget, cut corporate subsidies, cut the war on drugs and FREE COLLEGE for all and FREE HEALTHCARE FOR ALL are COMPLETELY POSSIBLE. WITH MONEY LEFT OVER FOR EVERYONE IN POVERTY.

Dec. 09 2013 02:08 PM

Lives at Risk: Single-Payer National Health Insurance Around the World

Beyond Obamacare

The Myth of Americans' Poor Life Expectancy

Dec. 09 2013 12:59 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Wikipedia -Sweden

"The economy of Sweden is a developed export-oriented diverse economy aided by timber, hydropower and iron ore. These constitute the resource base of an economy oriented toward foreign trade. The main industries include motor vehicles, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals, industrial machines, precision equipment, chemical goods, home goods and appliances, forestry, iron and steel. Traditionally, a modernized agricultural economy that used to be employing over half of the domestic workforce, today, Sweden further develops engineering, mine, steel and pulp industries that are competitive internationally such as the companies of LM Ericsson, ASEA/ABB, SKF, Alfa Laval, Aga and Dyno Nobel.[12]

Sweden is a highly competitive capitalist economy featuring a generous, universal welfare state financed through relatively high income taxes[13] that ensures that income is distributed across the entire society, a model sometimes called the Nordic model. Approximately 90% of all resources and companies are privately owned, with a minority of 5% owned by the state and another 5% operating as either consumer or producer cooperatives.[14]

Because Sweden, as a neutral country, did not actively participate in World War II, it did not have to rebuild its economic base, banking system, and country as a whole, as many other European countries did. Sweden has achieved a high standard of living under a mixed system of high-tech capitalism and extensive welfare benefits. Sweden has the second highest total tax revenue behind Denmark, as a share of the country's income. As of 2012, total tax revenue was 44.2% of GDP, down from 48.3% in 2006.[15]"

Dec. 09 2013 12:40 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

Scandinavian pay a lot in taxes, twice as much as do Americans. Also Norway has a huge oil industry, and is practically a petro-state. Sweden has been neutral in wars and certainly has possibly the highest income tax rates in the world. It also sits on mountains of iron ore that made it very prosperous earlier on. They were also a very homogeneous societies.

I think for the US, capitalist medicine combined with charity hospitals, combined with doctors having do contribute 20 hours a week to do pro bono work is the best answer. The government's half-measures only complicate things.

Dec. 09 2013 12:33 PM
RN from Yonkers

Beware the medical industrial complex. Big Pharma influences medical education so "doctors and nurses" are trained to be drug and surgery sales people to fuel Big Phaarma profits. Upon graduation they are the indentured servants of Big Pharma as they pay off huge debt by haweking profitable rather than effective care.

Dec. 09 2013 12:32 PM
Tom from LI

Please comment on the consolidation of hospitals (i.e. buying other hospitals and even medical practices)by non-profit corporations.

Dec. 09 2013 12:25 PM
ivan obregon from nyc

5 years less than their mothers and still is yes, linked to wealth, access, education, resources, affordable healthcare, employment (for her AND/OR her partners) but Americans prefer to believe that health is a "character choice"- as both neoliberals and konservatives proclaim the american ideology- rather than a structural medium of knowledge, exposure, means and a socialist perspective would point to first. Gross inequality is a socioeconomic issue and thus, too, an indicator....of a society's public health.

Dec. 09 2013 12:24 PM
M. L. from New York

I know someone who did well on physical therapy. But he seemed to think that, because he was making only incremental progress, his workers' comp did not want to continue paying for it. They wanted him instead to get back surgery. This is a sign for me of what's wrong with health care in this country--insurance companies (and some doctors) would rather spend money on a procedure because it's profitable as opposed to choosing the treatment that's best for a patient.

Dec. 09 2013 12:17 PM
jgarbuz from Queens

I lived in Israel during the 1980s. That cured me of "socialized medicine." It appears very nice on the surface, but not so good when you need something serious. You would have to wait for a triple bypass, or a hip replacement, et cetera in those days, unless you had "protekzia" or somebody help you jump the queue. Or if you were rich and could pay out of pocket. Great for primary care; not so good if you need quick relief for quick and more specialized treatment. Things have changed there, but 30 years almost everyone paid into what they called "The Sick Fund" based on your income, almost like tax but considered a fund rather than "insurance." The young, the healthy, and even people on welfare had to pay something into the Fund, almost like Obamacare.

Now the US started with capitalist medicine. A doctor was like any other businessman, providing a service for a fee which he or she could charge as the market demanded. In Israel and much of Europe, they came to socialized medicine after WWII. In the US, many charity hospitals were started by religious and philantrophic groups, and eventually doctors had to provide some of their time to the poor per bono. Then came medicare and medicaid in the 1960s which began creeping socialized medicine.

Dec. 09 2013 12:17 PM

No investments can be made in this country unless the corporatocracy can figure out a way to skim their unearned profit off of it.

That's why we get Obamacare instead of single-payer, and why no holistic remedies are allowed into the discussion.

Dec. 09 2013 12:16 PM
Ed from Larchmont

For a number of years we've been encouraged to get preventive care, and it makes sense. But it the ACA it looks like people will see doctors less, and so will do much less preventive care.

Dec. 09 2013 12:11 PM
Ed from Larchmont

With O-care, it looks like we'll be paying less and getting lots less.

Dec. 09 2013 12:05 PM

We are being ripped off in the 'free market', of course. The American healthcare consumer is kept in a state of supreme ignorance for a reason. It makes us so much easier to fleece.

Dec. 09 2013 12:02 PM

Leave a Comment

Email addresses are required but never displayed.

Get the WNYC Morning Brief in your inbox.
We'll send you our top 5 stories every day, plus breaking news and weather.