This Is Healthcare? U.S. Medical System Kills 400K Hospital Patients Every Year and is the Most Expensive in the World.

U.S. is the most expensive healthcare system in the world

This Is Healthcare? U.S. Medical System Ranked 38th Kills 400K Hospital Patients Every Year. Most Expensive in the World.

Kevin Holder

Jon Rappoport reports at Activist Post – Time and time again, in these pages, I’ve illustrated the fact that reality is being created for us—and that reality is false. It’s a façade.

Waking up to this is vital, if we want to understand the virtual world we live in. We’re inside a matrix.

Here’s a medical study I haven’t cited before: “A new, evidence-based estimate of patient harms associated with hospital care,” by JT James (J Patient Saf, Sept. 9, 2013).

The key quote:

“…the true number of premature deaths [in US hospitals] associated with preventable harm to patients was estimated at more than 400,000 per year.”

Putting it bluntly, the US medical system kills 400,000 hospital patients every year.

This is a huge increase over the previous figure I’ve cited: 119,000. That number comes from Dr. Barbara Starfield’s review, “Is US health really the best in the world?”. It was published on July 26, 2000, in the Journal of the American Medical Association. At the time, Starfield was a revered public-health expert at the Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

Starfield told me, in a 2009 interview, that she was unaware of any serious government effort to fix the system.

In her review, Starfield also concluded that, every year in the US, the medical system kills 106,000 patients as a result of the administration of FDA-approved pharmaceutical drugs.

You can type into the startpage.com search engine, “FDA why learn about adverse drug effects,”and you’ll find an FDA page which states that, indeed, 100,000 people die every year in the US from ingesting these medicines.

So let’s put these numbers together.

400,000 patient deaths every year in US hospitals. 100,000 deaths every year from medicines. These deaths are directly caused by the medical system.

500,000 deaths every year.
That would be 5 MILLION deaths caused by the US medical system every decade.

Roughly 2.5 million people die every year in the US, from all causes (or roughly 25 million every decade). So 1 out of every 5 deaths in the US stems directly from the medical system.

But that’s not all. The 2013 study cited above also concludes: “Serious harm seems to be 10- to 20-fold more common than lethal harm.”

Translation: every year in the US, hospitals cause between 4 million and 8 million incidents of serious harm—which means coma, temporary flatlining, stroke, hemorrhage, unnecessary major surgery, life-threatening infection, etc.

It’s fairly well accepted that the U.S. is the most expensive healthcare system in the world, but many continue to falsely assume that we pay more for healthcare because we get better health (or better health outcomes). The evidence, however, clearly doesn’t support that view.

TCFchart

The report itself is fairly short (32 pages), but included prior surveys and national health system scorecards as well as data from the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). The report also included a list of major findings —including these:

Quality: The indicators of quality were grouped into four categories: effective care, safe care, coordinated care, and patient-centered care. Compared with the other 10 countries, the U.S. fares best on provision and receipt of preventive and patient-centered care.

Access: Not surprisingly — given the absence of universal coverage — people in the U.S. go without needed health care because of cost more often than people do in the other countries.

Efficiency: On indicators of efficiency, the U.S. ranks last among the 11 countries, with the U.K. and Sweden ranking first and second, respectively. The U.S. has poor performance on measures of national health expenditures and administrative costs as well as on measures of administrative hassles, avoidable emergency room use, and duplicative medical testing.

Equity: The U.S. ranks a clear last on measures of equity. Americans with below-average incomes were much more likely than their counterparts in other countries to report not visiting a physician when sick; not getting a recommended test, treatment, or follow-up care; or not filling a prescription or skipping doses when needed because of costs. On each of these indicators, one-third or more lower-income adults in the U.S. said they went without needed care because of costs in the past year.

Healthy lives: The U.S. ranks last overall with poor scores on all three indicators of healthy lives — mortality amenable to medical care, infant mortality, and healthy life expectancy at age 60. Overall, France, Sweden, and Switzerland rank highest on healthy lives.

The most notable way the U.S. differs from other industrialized countries is the absence of universal health insurance coverage. Other nations ensure the accessibility of care through universal health systems and through better ties between patients and the physician practices that serve as their medical homes. The Commonwealth Fund “Mirror, Mirror On The Wall — 2014 Update” 

Unfortunately, many still equate “universal healthcare” with “Government run” or “single payer” healthcare. It isn’t (Universal Coverage Is Not “Single Payer” Healthcare — here).

All of which makes Cadillac’s advertising chutzpah even more brazen. After all, it was just seven short months ago that the Government “bailout” of GM officially ended. One of the more commonly cited reasons for the dire financial predicament of the auto industry giant was always — yup — ballooning healthcare costs. Just as Starbucks SBUX +1.59% spends more on healthcare benefits than coffee beans — GM (at least in 2005) spent more on healthcare benefits than steel.

Full Story

U.S. Healthcare System Ranked 38th in the World, #1 in Cost. World Health Organization’s Ranking of the World’s Health Systems – See Chart Below.

who-world-healthcare-rankings-most-expensive

Top economist says eliminating Big Pharma would save the U.S. $270 billion per year

It’s widely-known by now that Americans pay far more for prescription drugs than in any other developed country. The Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) estimates that Americans pay at least twice as much for prescription drugs than the OECD average (an additional $460 per capita, or $1,268 per household). But what most Americans don’t know is that these profitable drug companies are getting rich by buying rights to and selling products that government research created. Economist Dean Baker estimates the average American household could save $270 billion each year on drug prices by taking Big Pharma out of the equation.

The absurd profits of Big Pharma

Between 2002 and 2012, the 11 largest drug companies — Johnson & Johnson, Pfizer, Novartis, Merck, Roche, Sanofi-Aventis, GlaxoSmithKline, Abbott Laboratories, AstraZeneca, Eli Lilly, and Bristol-Myers Squibb — pocketed $711 billion in net profit. This all came after George W. Bush signed Medicare part D into law in 2003, which prohibited the government from negotiating the prices of prescription drugs with drug companies.

big-pharma-profits

The skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs isn’t just a result  of Medicare part D, but the larger problem of government-granted patents to private pharmaceutical corporations. Dean Baker of the Center for Economic and Policy Research reports that the practice of privatizing government research of prescription drugs has resulted in an increased cost of $270 billion per year, amounting to roughly $2,000 each year from every American household. The more the government allows patents to be purchased by for-profit companies, the more Americans get gouged.

As the Fiscal Times reported in a July 2015 article, Gilead Sciences (GS) bought the patents for Hepatitis-C drugs Sovaldi and Harvoni in 2011, and have been raking in record profits year after year largely as a result of sales from these two drugs — mostly to customers in the US. Last year, Gilead posted profits of $8.2 billion — more than 26 percent more profit than GS made the year before. The company’s financial statements show that more than half of that increase came from Sovaldi and Harvoni sales.

Full Story Here

Big Pharma Pockets $711 Billion in Profits by Robbing Seniors, Taxpayers

Huffington Post Reports

Here’s an outrage that must be changed: Big Pharma has been systematically price-gouging the Medicare program for seniors and people with disabilities — and raking in billions in excessive profits. The 11 largest global drug companies made an astonishing $711 billion in profits over the 10 years ending in 2012, and they got a turbo-charged boost when the Medicare Part D prescription drug program started in 2006, according to an analysis of corporate filings by Health Care for America Now (HCAN).

The drug companies hold the power to charge America’s consumers whatever they want. Worse, Medicare — the nation’s largest purchaser of drugs — is prohibited by law from seeking better prices. The result of this shortsighted policy is dramatic. In 2006, the first year of Medicare’s prescription drug program, the combined profits of the largest drug companies soared 34 percent to $76.3 billion. And unlike other industries, such as Big Oil, drug companies get something even better than a tax subsidy — they get a government program.

There is nothing wrong with a company making profits — that’s what they’re supposed to do. But the drug industry’s profits are excessive as a result of overcharging American consumers and taxpayers. We pay significantly more than any other country for the exact same drugs. Per capita drug spending in the U.S. is about 40 percent higher than in Canada, 75 percent greater than in Japan and nearly triple the amount spent in Denmark.

This is healthcare?

Categories: ECONOMY, HEALTH

Comments

  1. Higgins News Network
    Higgins News Network Author 26 February, 2016, 21:01

    I’ve read some criticism on other sites about this article. I think you’d have to be drinking the coolaid if you think these numbers are wrong, they’re published public domain numbers. And personal attacks saying I’m “far left” or something. I don’t even know what that really means these days anyway.

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