Essay Healthcare Costs: USA vs France

1276 Words 6 Pages
Cost is the most challenging factor in health care. The reasonability and affordability of healthcare should be the main concern for the community. A more acceptable cost will guarantee improved access to healthcare for everyone.
The United States American health expenditure totaled 17.7% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) or $ 8,507.6 per capita in 2011 (OECD, 2013). American health care cost depends on the market including several providers (profit, non-profit, and government owned facilities) and payers (private for profit, non-profit insurance companies, the government, self insured and self payers). Health expenditures can separate into different categories, such as, in-patient care, out-patient care,
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Steven Brill pointed out, in his remarkable analysis for Time last spring, ''They have 'chargemasters,' the list price of hospital costs. Discounts are given out to patients under a private health insurance. How come? Those insurance companies negotiate prices with hospitals. They identify the hospital in their network of providers. Insured patients can get discounts that are 30 to 50 percent above low Medicare rates'' (Zuckerman, October 22, 2013).

Finally, is the quality of US health care better than others to make its cost so high? The United States performs well in subsystems such as cancer care and treating acute conditions in hospitals, but does not perform well in primary care and in preventing costly hospital admissions for chronic conditions. However, the primary care sector is still underdeveloped, being detrimental to the health system. Patients that have asthma and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) experience expensive costs, even though such admissions could potentially be avoided if appropriate care is provided in primary care settings. In addition to the shortage of family doctors, it contributes to the poor primary care performance (OECD, 2011).
France spent $4117.9 per capita on health care in 2011, which was about 48.4% of US spending, and French health care expenditures

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