US Health Care Stinks: Study

Huge inefficiencies put American system last among 19 developed nations
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 17, 2008 10:33 AM CDT
The US health care system received a score of 65 out of 100 in a ranking by a non-profit group -- placing it last among 19 developed nations.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – The US health care system gets dismal grades in a ranking of 19 industrialized countries, Reuters reports. A private foundation looked at key indicators like efficiency and access, and found the US did very poorly despite spending the most money—putting it last on the list. Health-care dollars were squandered on administrative costs and illnesses caused by medical errors.

The US came last in prevention of premature mortality from easily treatable conditions like asthma, down from 15th in 2006. The report estimated 100,000 American lives could be saved every year if health care was brought to the level of top-ranked Japan. "We lead the world in spending," said the foundation's vice president. "We should be expecting much more in return."