- America has the best health care in the world.
Let's bury this one once and for all. The United States is No. 1 in only one sense: the amount we shell out for health care. We have the most expensive system in the world per capita, but we lag behind many developed countries on virtually every health statistic you can name.
Somebody else is paying for your health insurance.
Nope. Even when your employer offers coverage, he isn't reaching into his own pocket to cover you and your fellow employees; he's reaching into your pocket, paying you lower wages than he would if he didn't have to pay for your health insurance.
We would save a lot if we could cut the administrative waste of private insurance.
The idea that we could wring billions of dollars in savings this way is seductive, but it wouldn't really accomplish that much. For one thing, some administrative costs are not only necessary but beneficial. Tracking the rate of heart attacks from drugs such as Avandia, for instance, is key to ensuring safe pharmaceuticals.
Health-care reform is going to cost a bundle.
Only if you think that covering the uninsured is our only priority. Yes, making health care available to all citizens is the right thing to do. But it isn't the only thing to do. We also have to fix the spectacularly wasteful and expensive way doctors and hospitals deliver care.
Americans aren't ready for a major overhaul of the health-care system.
A recent study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that only 7 percent of Americans rate our health-care system excellent. Nearly 40 percent consider it poor. A whopping 70 percent believe it needs major changes, if not a complete overhaul.
I strongly suggest everyone go and read the full article. It's not terribly long, and it offers some pretty eye-opening information. For example, did you realize that the average family of four spends $29,000 a year for health care via taxes, lower wages and out-of-pocket medical expenses? While I knew it was taken out of wages, taxes, etc, I had no idea it was that high.
A lot of these things are part of the broader discussion I've seen in comments on this and other health blogs, so they're worth considering as we go into what will hopefully be a new era of health care in America.