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Help: Heathcare costs for US vs Europe/Canada in 1994 vs 2009

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zaj Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:35 PM
Original message
Help: Heathcare costs for US vs Europe/Canada in 1994 vs 2009
It seems to me that if we had a simple figure that said US Healthcare costs Americans (xx trillions) more today because we didn't pass healthcare reform in 1994, we could easily make the case for reform.

If I had the data for total estimated healthcare costs of a European/Canadian system in 1994 and 2008 as well as the same for our US system, we could have a couple of very powerful figures that demonstrate how impactful a gov't system can be.

Anyone know where to get these figures?

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MannyGoldstein Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 08:40 PM
Response to Original message
1. Here's Something Like What You're Looking For
http://puck.sourceoecd.org/vl=22560247/cl=18/nw=1/rpsv/...

Unfortunately, it's not as clear of a picture as you'd probably like - the US doesn't come out so bad, but that may be due to the GDPs of the poorer countries increasing rapidly during that time (i.e., it's a complex question to answer).
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OHdem10 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Aug-23-09 09:05 PM
Response to Original message
2. Look, I know Lou Dobbs is not popular here. However, he has spent
a week or more going over health plans all over the world.

I cannot quote but our Healthcare is eitjher 2 to 3 times more
than any other country.

Our waits are longer than many countries. Elective Surgery we
do not the long waits as other countries.

Anyway, it used be so you could go to CNN/Programs then scroll
until you find Dobbs and click. I think somewhere around the
perimeter you may find transcripts and click and read his
shows.

Lots of interesting data. When Lou does not go off on those
tangents, he does some serious coverage. He seems to be trying
to be more centered as of late.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 08:12 AM
Response to Original message
3. There's a paper with figures somewhat similar to what you want
http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?art...

Figures 4a and 4b show the relative life expectancy in the US and 'peer countries' (a combination of Canada, France, Germany, Japan, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom), and the expenditure in US$ per capita (using a purchasing power parity exchange rate).

In 1995, US expenditure was 1.8 times the other countries; life expectancy was 0.97 theirs. In 2004, US expenditure was 1.9 times the others; life expectancy was still 0.97.

Figure 4a shows spending for the United States and a selection of high-income countries: Japan, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Switzerland. In the discussion that follows the average for this group of peer countries is unweighted, so Switzerland counts as much as Germany, but the population-weighted averages (and the data from individual countries) yield a similar pattern. In 1970, the United States spent 40 percent more on health care than the average of the peer countries, and since then the gap has widened, to 90 percent by 2004. In contrast, life expectancy, shown in Figure 4b, has improved at a slower rate in the United States, from 99 percent of the average life-expectancy for the European comparison group in 1970 to 97 percent in 2004. These results are not sensitive to the age at which life expectancy is estimated; for example, the results are similar for people over age 65, a group nearly universally covered by Medicare. Indeed, between 1970 and 2003, every country in the comparison group achieved larger increases in life expectancy at age 65 for both women and men, with the exception of Canada, whose 65 year-old men experienced the same 3.7 year increase in life expectancy as their American counterparts.7

Similar results were found when looking just at mortality deemed “amenable” to medical care, such as bacterial infections, treatable cancers, and certain cardiovascular diseases, as shown near the bottom of Table 1 (Nolte and McKee, 2008). In this area as well, the European countries have experienced larger declines in mortality than the United States. Other countries, then, have shared the enormously valuable improvements in health that Americans have enjoyed in recent decades, and at much lower cost.
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muriel_volestrangler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Aug-24-09 08:20 AM
Response to Original message
4. Or try this blog's method - 'potential years of life lost'
measured against additional percentage points of GDP expended: http://blogs.harvardbusiness.org/haque/2009/08/how_effe...

It focuses on a longer time period than from 1994.
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