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Liz Seegert (Health Journalist, U.S. Healthcare)

Aug 2, 2017|

Liz Seegert (Health Journalist, U.S. Healthcare) by The Financial Exchange

Transcript - Not for consumer use. Robot overlords only. Will not be accurate.

The headline reads why the United States health system ranks worst among wealthy countries. The reporter on this story is these Cedar Key is a health care journalist and she joins us today on the financial state Tyler's very. Good morning. Glad to. So how much does the United States spend on health care relative to other wealthy countries. Well we spend approximately 20% of our GDP that works out to about 3.2 trillion dollars. And income parents say you look at a country like France they'd spend about 11%. And UK spend under 9%. So we're spending more than twice as much and we don't have a whole lot of better outcomes chill for. Well how do we rank in terms of affordability. And medical results you know because whenever you read about a blockbuster drug loses I think of it coming from the United States. And we'd do well in research and development that's true. But in terms of affordability. And again we link at the bottom. And results as well rightly get our results are. Abysmal and I think he wrote in your article the reason. Our results are bad is because we don't provide primary care you'd people they'll go for annual physicals they don't yet. They don't get preventative maintenance. That's the big part of this and if you can't afford health insurance you're not going to built for preventive services. Any other countries. Health insurance is mandatory and it universal. So they put a bigger emphasis on preventive care and what that means. Is that people don't develop disease is that they can died from. As quickly. And agencies that are caught earlier so a lot of the problems that. American experience can be avoided or at least minimize. These these other countries have longer life expectancies. Than the United States. Some of them do. Some of them do interestingly enough although our life expectancy has been increasing over the past several. Decades last year was the first year it didn't show an increase. And a lot of that is also attributed to Ethiopia we crisis of course right. What do you think. What are the biggest shortcomings of our system. Oh how. They are alive we could probably spend another half hour talking about them but primarily. We have very poor. In administrative efficiency which means that the doctors are doing too much paperwork to. Something like half the doctors said that they spend way to much time on administrative work getting referrals and so forth. And very importantly we have huge. Disparities health inequity. Between the lowest income people on high income people and that's something you really don't see much of any other country. Why did why do we have that with the Affordable Care Act that was supposed to provide healthcare to the indigent. And it does for a twenty million more people but. People fail to remember that they're still 28 million people that don't have health insurance they fall into that coverage gap and particularly in the state that didn't expand Medicaid. So they make too much to qualify for regular Medicaid. But not quite enough to qualify for a subsidy. So in the deep dish the shortcomings are pretty obvious. What are the at aren't they probably aren't any easy solutions but what are the solutions to. Well. It depends on which side of the Iowa you talk to look worse. People have different solution at least guess who's going on in congress. The bottom line according to the Commonwealth Fund report. It to strength in the preventive services. And make insurance more universal and that doesn't necessarily mean single Payer. For example the Netherlands has mandatory health insurance but it all done through private insurer did. So there's a way to combined. What about. You know in the president talked about this he said you know the the you have your universal coverage did you know your basic. Kind I don't know you'd call the date basic level of coverage and then. The the wealthy people were able to buy a higher level coverages that a viable plan for the United States. I don't see why not do those are administered by the state. Which it set up similar to the province's link in La Canada. And gain federal government in Australia stepped in to help. With very low income people and then you can buy additional insurance private insurance for elective. Option let's say dental care vision care and that's something you can do here right now. Interest in mid stage this it seems like there's the they. The two parties here don't appear to be willing to work on this together in any fashion today. Well interesting that you point that out because just yesterday. The chair of the senate help committee that health education labor and pensions and Lamar Alexander dale. He Republican. And Patty Murray who is the ranking Democrat on the committee that they will hold hearings the first week of September. And try to get some input into had stabilized the current EPA marketplace. That's a major and oh yeah that they at least a talking to each other. That's a good start right Liz thank you very much for joining us a great research on the article and we appreciate your time. My pleasure thank you as lose sea girt and she's a health care journalist she studied this a lot more than I have been. It's it's it at this point I think a lot of Americans have to be pretty discouraged. With the state of our health care system in the and the inability of Washington to come up with a anything's viable. Yet again there there hasn't been any meaningful change in the last eight years now and we know that. Again that the issues that were talking about. You don't have to blow everything up and start over from step one it's things where you can do some tweaks around the edges again the other important thing that we always have. You have to talk about. There's differences between coverage. And care okay were always you are talking about that she explained exactly you know preventative maintenance guy like on a car ranked if you don't change your oil in your car. For 50000 miles or 20000 bonds is what you're gonna grab you Qichen met the car and say OK good I'm not getting what what I should be you know maintain your home guess what happens Brady also. Why it is just the approaches Ali you've got to take care.