America's Awful Healthcare

| Mon Nov. 1, 2010 12:02 AM EDT

We may spend more on healthcare than any other country in the world, but hey — at least we get a first class system in return for all that dough, right? I mean, aside from all those poor schmoes who don't have health insurance. At least the rest of us get great healthcare, don't we?

No. To go along with his recent series of posts on healthcare costs, Aaron Carroll just finished up another series on healthcare quality. The chart on the right shows where we stand compared to other rich countries:

With the exception of available technology, we do not rate well against comparable countries. And that’s the take home message. We can argue about which metric is best to describe the quality of a health care system, but it almost doesn’t matter what you pick. Don’t like population statistics? Fine. Choose another. But unless you think the only important thing is how many MRI machines are available, we’re still going to look bad. Not only does the system not perform up to snuff, but pretty much every stakeholder I discussed agreed that it’s not good.

The entire series is here. The whole thing is worth a read.