New report shows US lags behind peer countries in health outcomes, including infant and maternal mortality
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The U.S. spends far more on health care than other high-income countries, but it still lacks universal coverage and falls short of several key health indicators, according to a new report. Performance is degraded.
The Commonwealth Fund uses data from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), which compiles health statistics for 38 member countries, and other sources, to compare US spending and health status to 12 other countries. By comparison, 18% of gross domestic product for health care in 2021, almost double what the average OECD country would spend, despite the lack of universal health coverage.
All the while, the United States has the highest infant and maternal mortality rates among high-income countries, the highest avoidable and physical assault mortality rates, and the highest rate of death from physical assault, the country surveyed by Canada, a nonprofit medical think tank. had the lowest life expectancy. , Australia, France, Germany, Japan, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Korea, Sweden, Switzerland, United Kingdom
“Americans live short and unhealthy lives because our health care system isn’t working as it should,” he said in a statement on Tuesday. We need to expand access to healthcare, act aggressively to keep costs down, and invest in health equity and social services, which we know will lead to healthier populations.”
As of 2021, 8.6% of Americans will not have health insurance, compared to an even higher pre-pandemic uninsured rate of 9.2%.
One potential reason for the slight increase in insurance coverage is that pandemic-era requirements have forced Medicaid, the government’s health insurance program for low-income individuals, to stay on during the public health emergency. People continued to subscribe. However, this could end in March, potentially disrupting health insurance for both those who are no longer eligible and those who are eligible but facing “churn.”
A Gallup poll released this month found that a majority of U.S. adults believe the government should ensure people have health care coverage amid a possible setback in care. Most people believe that insurance should be based on private insurance.
Residents of high-income countries, especially those with health insurance coverage, are more likely to see their doctor more often and experience better health, according to a Commonwealth Fund report. .
The OECD average is 5.7, while Americans see about 4 visits per year per person and have a life expectancy at birth of 77 years, three years less than the OECD average. Americans also had the highest avoidable death rates among the countries analyzed by the Commonwealth Foundation. Highest infant mortality rate, 5.4 deaths per 1,000 live births. highest maternal mortality; highest assault mortality, a category that includes gun violence; highest rates of obesity; highest rates of multiple chronic diseases; Highest death rate from COVID-19.
To break out of these trends, the Commonwealth Fund said the United States needs to do more to address affordability and overall healthcare costs while improving prevention and control of common conditions.
“Our international comparative findings underscore the importance of healthcare systems that support the prevention and control of chronic diseases, early diagnosis and treatment of medical problems, affordable access to health insurance, and cost containment. It’s a high performance system,” the report said. “Other countries have found ways to do these things well, and so has the United States.”
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