Disadvantages of American Healthcare System

Last Updated on Jan 20th, 2015 | By | Category: Healthcare in US

Cons of American Healthcare System

The ongoing controversy and unease surrounding healthcare system in the United States has muddied an important fact that although Americans pay more for healthcare they receive a lesser quality of health care than many other people in the world. What most Americans see as a choice in health care insurance is in fact nothing more than a total confusion and a waste of time. Nonetheless more Americans are becoming increasingly distrustful of the American health system with its out-of-pocket fake bills and deductibles which too often is mistakenly paid.



In 2010, the United States spent more than $2 trillion on health care amounting to an average annual cost of over $8,000 per man, women and child within a household. This is significantly more than any other country is required to pay for healthcare. Individuals in several other developed countries such as Canada, the United Kingdom, Germany, France, Denmark, Ireland , Sweden and Taiwan living in standards comparable to the United States actually pay less than half of what the average person is required to pay for healthcare in the United States.

Contrary to most beliefs the United States health care system influences only about ten percent of premature mortality and health status. Yet there are those who would contest that this extravagant spending is within reason, given the idea that the United States offers the best health care in the world. Regrettably this is far from the truth as the facts we are about to discuss in this article in no way support this argument.

The U.S. Institute of Medicine along with the National Research Council in 2013 published a study comparing the health care net result in the United States with the outcomes as seen in peer countries.

The results of the study was provided in a brief summary of its findings which concluded that although other countries are spending far less on health care, the average person in the United States lives a shorter life in poorer health. The report when made public shocked many Americans and confirmed the worst fears for others. Yet although unfortunate, the reality is; the United States for the last thirty years has maintained a persuasive and protracted health disadvantage which has resulted in the suffering and death of Americans from illness and injury at the cost of health rates which are clearly and undeniably unnecessary. Ideally this report not only serves as not only a call for action from the public and private sector but also as a time for Americans to come together the bring an end to the failures of the American health system.

Studies have also confirmed that the United States health system has a disproportionate impact based on a number of factors such as race, sexual orientation, education, immigration and geography. The result is unethical health discrepancies among population sub-groups reflecting deplorable underlying injustices in the health care system.

Did you know that African-American women are twice as likely to die from cervical cancer than white women and have the highest death rate from breast cancer than any other ethnic or racial group?

Moreover people who didn’t graduate with a high school diploma are four times likely to suffer from poor health than persons who graduated from college. Additionally residents in rural areas are less likely to have health insurance, have fewer doctor visits and preventative tests.

For example, the United States ranked 16 among the 17 peer nations in mortality rates for noninfectious diseases . For infant mortality with more than 6.3 deaths per 1,000 live births the United States was ranked at the bottom of the list when compared to the less than the 4 deaths per 1,000 births in countries such as France, Japan, Italy and its other peer nations. The United States moreover experiences higher rates in persons dying from diabetes, infections, respiratory illnesses, cardiovascular disease and many other medical conditions. Notably cancer patients in the United States are better cared for than patients in many other countries however for just about ever other medical condition the average person in the United States is more likely to die than an individual in a peer country.



But if this is true, why does medical care in the United States cost so much and delivered so poorly? Regrettably, there is no straightforward answer. Researchers have investigated several possible factors, including, the large number of Americans who are uninsured, a fragmented health care system, income inequality, the high rate of smoking and drinking among Americans, lawsuits and many others. While all of these have played their part to contribute to the growing problem, none can explain the reason why Americans are at such a great disadvantage in the health care system. Even affluent Americans who enjoy healthier lifestyles often experience poorer health compared to similar persons in peer countries.

How can the American health care system be fixed?

The American health care system to be fixed must be fundamentally reformed from a disease based system to one which emphasizes the wellness and prevention, and changing its modus operandi from crisis care and hospital-based acute intervention to an alternative approach driven by primary care and population health. Moreover sustainable improvements to the health system will only occur when the American society removes the silos between medical care and other social services to adopt an approach which confronts the uphill determinants of the health care system

Did you know that significant costs in health care can be achieved if programs using special centers to house homeless patients who are too sick to be sent to shelters by offering a suitable place for recovery and medical care?

Taking a cue from peer nations by spending more in key areas to achieve better results is another way to address the growing problem with the American health system. Efforts must be made to redirect funds towards social services in a bid to help to promote wellness and prevent disease rather than taking the normal approach of waiting for costly diseases to develop.

Final Note

When all is said and done the health care system in the United States is elaborate, convoluted, chaotic and confusing, leveraged by countless political, economical and social elements and given this fact, one of the best ways for Americans to improve their national health system is by taking the time to educate themselves by accessing the relevant information as included within this article.

See Also Universal Health Care in Different Countries:


Make American Health Care A National Priority
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