Here are two charts that should be in every health care discussion. Yet, they are never really talked about by either side.
The United States government spends around 30% more per capita on health care than Canada does. This despite the fact that the United States government doesn’t cover all of its citizens while Canada does. For every man, woman, and child in the United States, our government spends close to $4,000 on health care. For every man, woman, and child in Canada, their government spends close to $3,100 on health care. The difference is that Canada negotiates for drugs and we do not. Canada also had a single point of payment for health care bills while we have thousands of them each with their own rules and regulations that providers need to navigate. There are other savings involved, but these are the big ones. We’d be wise to implement both of these ideas here.
That’s public spending, but what about private spending? We in the United States spend around $4,200 per person while Canada spends around $1,300 per person. We spend over 20% more than Canada on private health care costs!
And how are things going to change under Obamacare? As Ezra Klein says:
Obamacare will mostly fix the universal coverage problem, but it won’t fix the cost problem. The reason other countries spend less is that their governments set the prices, and they set them low. The reason we spend so much more is largely because our prices are higher, and by leaving private insurers and medical providers in charge of deciding prices, we’re not doing anything about that in Obamacare.
As I have always said, Obamacare is a bag of crap left on your doorstep. It’s still better than the flaming bag of crap that is our health care system without Obamacare. Here’s to hoping we get the purchasing power of the Canadian government and its fantastic savings in the United States soon!