By Michael Snyder - BLN Contributing Writer
The U.S. health care system has become one gigantic money making scam, and you are about to see the statistics that prove it. Today, the United States spends more on health care per person than any other country in the world by far. The health insurance companies and the big pharmaceutical corporations are raking in gigantic mountains of cash and yet the quality of the health care that we receive in return is rather quite poor. People living in Puerto Rico have a greater life expectancy than we do. Residents of Cuba have a lower infant mortality rate than we do. We are the most medicated population on the planet and yet we are also one of the sickest. If the U.S. health care system was a country, it would have the 6th largest economy on the globe and yet rates of cancer, heart disease and diabetes continue to increase. The U.S. health care statistics that you are about to read below are absolutely stunning. For as much money as we shell out for health care, we should have the greatest system in the entire world. But we don’t. Something has gone horribly wrong.
As you read this, there are hordes of health bureaucrats and greedy corporate fatcats that are becoming incredibly wealthy while the rest of us go broke trying to pay for our health care. In the United States today, health care bills cause more bankruptcies than anything else does. Millions of Americans are afraid to go to the hospital because they know that even a short visit would be a huge financial burden.
Sadly, our politicians in Washington D.C. continue to make the problem worse. Obamacare was one of the worst pieces of legislation that anyone has ever come up with in the history of the United States. You could put a thousand monkeys in a room with a thousand typewriters for a thousand years and they wouldn’t come up with anything as bad as Obamacare. Rather than doing something to address the abuses of the health insurance companies and the pharmaceutical corporations, Obamacare actually gives them more power. In fact, huge portions of Obamacare are virtually identical to a bill that was written by the health insurance trade association in 2009. Under Obamacare our health care costs will go up even faster and the quality of our health care will continue to go down. So please don’t try to tell me that Obamacare is the solution to anything.
The health care system in the United States is so broken that it probably cannot be repaired. The entire thing needs to be dismantled and completely reinvented.
If you doubt this, just check out the stats that I have compiled below.
As I put together this list of statistics, Business Insider proved to be a very valuable resource. In addition, I relied heavily on the following articles which I previously authored….
The following are 50 U.S. health care statistics that will absolutely astonish you….
#1 What the United States spent on health care in 2009 was greater than the entire GDP of Great Britain.
#2 According to the Bureau of Economic Analysis, health care costs accounted for just 9.5% of all personal consumption back in 1980. Today they account for approximately 16.3%.
#3 The United States spent 2.47 trillion dollars on health care in 2009. It is being projected that the U.S. will spend 4.5 trillion dollars on health care in 2019.
#4 One study found that approximately 41 percent of working age Americans either have medical bill problems or are currently paying off medical debt.
#5 According to a report published in The American Journal of Medicine, medical bills are a major factor in more than 60 percent of the personal bankruptcies in the United States. Of those bankruptcies that were caused by medical bills, approximately 75 percent of them involved individuals that actually did have health insurance.
#6 Over the past decade, health insurance premiums have risen three times faster than wages have in the United States.
#7 The chairman of Aetna, the third largest health insurance company in the United States, brought in a staggering $68.7 million during 2010. Ron Williams exercised stock options that were worth approximately $50.3 million and he raked in an additional $18.4 million in wages and other forms of compensation. The funny thing is that he left the company and didn’t even work the whole year.
#8 The top executives at the five largest for-profit health insurance companies in the United States combined to receive nearly $200 million in total compensation for 2009.
#9 Even as the rest of the country struggled with a deep recession, U.S. health insurance companies increased their profits by 56 percent during 2009 alone.
#10 According to a report by Health Care for America Now, America’s five biggest for-profit health insurance companies ended 2009 with a combined profit of $12.2 billion.
#11 In the United States, health insurance administration expenses account for 8 percent of all health care costs. In Finland, that figure is just 2 percent.
#12 Health insurance rate increases are getting out of control. According to the Los Angeles Times, Blue Shield of California announced plans earlier this year to raise rates an average of 30% to 35%, and some individual policy holders were slated to see their health insurance premiums rise by up to 59 percent.
#13 According to an article on the Mother Jones website, health insurance premiums for small employers in the U.S. increased 180% between 1999 and 2009.
#14 Since 2003, health insurance companies have shelled out more than $42 million in state-level campaign contributions.
#15 There were more than two dozen pharmaceutical companies that made over a billion dollars in profits each during 2008.
#16 Each year, tens of billions of dollars is spent on pharmaceutical marketing in the United States alone.
#17 Prescription drugs cost about 50% more in the United States than they do in other countries.
#18 Nearly half of all Americans now use prescription drugs on a regular basis according to a CDC report that was recently released. According to the report, approximately one-third of all Americans use two or more pharmaceutical drugs, and more than ten percent of all Americans use five or more drugs on a regular basis.
#19 According to the CDC, approximately three quarters of a million people a year are rushed to emergency rooms in the United States because of adverse reactions to pharmaceutical drugs.
#20 The Food and Drug Administration reported 1,742 prescription drug recalls in 2009, which was a gigantic increase from 426 drug recalls in 2008.
#21 Children in the United States are three times more likely to be prescribed antidepressants than children in Europe are.
#22 The percentage of women taking antidepressants in America is higherthan in any other country in the world.
#23 Lawyers are certainly doing their part to contribute to soaring health care costs. According to one recent study, the medical liability system in the United States added approximately $55.6 billion to the cost of health care in 2008.
#24 According to one doctor interviewed by Fox News, “a gunshot wound to the head, chest or abdomen” will cost $13,000 at his hospital the moment the victim comes in the door, and then there will be significant additional charges depending on how bad the wound is.
#25 Why are c-sections on the rise? It is because a vaginal delivery costs approximately $5,992, while a c-section costs approximately $8,558.
#26 According to the CIA World Factbook, the United States had a higher infant mortality rate than 45 other nations in 2009.
#27 The infant mortality rate in the United States is nearly three times as high as it is in Singapore.
#28 It is estimated that hospitals overcharge Americans by about 10 billion dollars every single year.
#29 In fact, one trained medical billing advocate says that over 90 percent of all the medical bills that she has audited contain “gross overcharges“.
#30 It is not uncommon for insurance companies to get hospitals to knock their bills down by up to 95 percent, but if you are uninsured or you don’t know how the system works then you are out of luck.
#31 Over the last decade, the number of Americans without health insurance has risen from about 38 million to about 52 million.
#32 People living in the United States are three times more likely to have diabetes than people living in the United Kingdom.
#33 Today, people living in Puerto Rico have a greater life expectancy than people living in the United States do.
#34 According to OECD statistics, Americans are twice as obese as Canadians are.
#35 Back in 1965, only one out of every 50 Americans was on Medicaid. Today, one out of every 6 Americans is on Medicaid.
#36 The U.S. government now says that the Medicare trust fund will run outfive years faster than they were projecting just last year.
#37 It is being projected that the federal government will account for more than 50 percent of all health care spending in 2012.
#38 Greece has twice as many hospital beds per person as the United States does.
#39 The state of California now ranks dead last out of all 50 states in the number of emergency rooms per million people.
#40 According to one survey, approximately 1 out of every 4 Californians under the age of 65 has absolutely no health insurance.
#41 According to a PricewaterhouseCoopers report, “inefficient claims processing” costs the U.S. health care system 210 billion dollars every single year.
#42 Today, approximately 40% of all U.S. doctors are age 55 or older.
#43 According to the American Association of Medical Colleges, we were already going to be facing a shortage of more than 150,000 doctors over the next 15 years even before Obamacare was passed.
#44 An IBD/TIPP poll taken back in August 2009 found that 4 out of every 9 American doctors said that they “would consider leaving their practice or taking an early retirement” if Congress passed Obamacare.
#45 According to a survey published in the New England Journal of Medicine, approximately one-third of all practicing physicians in the United States indicated that they may leave the medical profession because of the new health care law.
#46 According to a Merritt Hawkins survey of 2,379 doctors that was conducted in August 2010, 40 percent of all U.S. doctors plan to “retire, seek a nonclinical job in health care, or seek a job or business unrelated to health care” at some point over the next three years.
#47 According to the executive director of Physician Hospitals of America, Obamacare has already forced the cancellation of at least 60 doctor-owned hospitals that were scheduled to open soon.
#48 According to a report released in 2010, Americans spend approximately twice as much as residents of other developed countries do on health care.
#49 If the U.S. health care system was a country, it would be the 6th largest economy in the entire world.
#50 According to numbers released by Deloitte Consulting, a whopping875,000 Americans were “medical tourists” in 2010.
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