Over the past two weeks, we’ve taken a number of different approaches to understanding the delivery of health care in the US. Largely, we have talked about health care quality, access and disparities. You may be asking ourselves if we are getting what we pay for (estimated at over $3.3 trillion in 2016). A student in PHS 795 finds a report that places us 50th out of 55 countries in efficiency. They write:
Lisa Du, in reporting findings from Bloomberg’s Health-Care Efficiency Index (2014), reports, “America was 50th out of 55 countries in 2014, according to a Bloomberg index that assesses life expectancy, health-care spending per capita and relative spending as a share of gross domestic product. Expenditures averaged $9,403 per person, about 17.1 percent of GDP, that year — the most recent for which data are available — and life expectancy was 78.9. Only Jordan, Colombia, Azerbaijan, Brazil and Russia ranked lower.”
This is significant when considering the impact that the healthcare system has on the U.S.’s GDP/GNP. The article notes that the time period of the report covers the first year of implementation for the Affordable Care Act, but, as a long term program, the effects of the ACA couldn’t have affected life expectancy yet. However, it does have significant impact on the GDP. The thought schema here is that if we know that those insured spend more of healthcare services than those whom are uninsured, then by providing mass coverage, the overall consumer expenditures for health-related services would increase. This retionale is purely economic and categorizes ethical implications secondarily, though not necessarily lesser.