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Friday, August 20, 2004

Kerry’s health scare : Blaming Bush for a phantom problem

August 20, 2004
AMERICANS spend more on health care than the people of any other nation on earth, and it’s all George Bush’s fault, according to John Kerry. The senator came to Derry yesterday to tell residents there how bad they have it in George Bush’s America, where health care costs are rising so quickly. But are Americans really so bad off when it comes to health care?

In a news release yesterday, the Kerry campaign complained, “Americans pay more per capita for health care than any other country. America spends $4,887 per capita on health expenditures compared to $3,160 in Switzerland, $2,792 in Canada and $1,992 in the United Kingdom.”

Not only is this discrepancy not George Bush’s fault, it is not necessarily bad. According to the journal Health Affairs, about 90 percent of the variation in levels of health spending among countries is explained by Gross Domestic Product. Countries with a higher standard of living spend more on health care. In the case of America’s $4,887 per-capita expenditure cited by Kerry, Health Affairs attributes 58 percent of that figure to America’s high GDP.

What might explain the other 42 percent? The exceptional quality of our health care professionals, for one. “The highly trained and highly talented health professionals employed in health care must be recruited from the same talent pool used by other industries offering high compensation, such as law and finance,” significantly marking up prices, notes Health Affairs. ... FR Reprint.


Anonymous Blue Cross of California said...

Great blog I hope we can work to build a better health care system. Health insurance is a major aspect to many.

1:18 PM  

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