NBC News had an interesting article,in the cost and quality of U.S healthcare. Most Americans assume it is the best in the world based on patriotism and not facts. "Health insurance premiums have shot up more than 60 percent in the last eight years, and if they keep up at this pace the average family of four will be paying $25,000 a year just for health insurance, according to a report from the non-profit Commonwealth Fund. Deductibles are also going up for employer-sponsored plans, so workers are paying more and more for less and less.
“Broad evidence of poorly coordinated care, duplicative services, and administrative waste, as well as rising prices charged to those privately insured, signal that greater efforts are needed to slow cost growth in both private and public insurance markets,” the report finds. The U.S. health care system wasted $750 billion in 2009, about 30 percent of all health spending, on unnecessary services, excessive administrative costs, and waste.
The Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation that conducts health policy reform research, did a state-by state look at health insurance premiums and deductibles and used Census Bureau data on earnings for the report, which covers 2003 to 2011. “The U.S. health insurance system remains highly fragmented, marked by elevated spending on administration and an inability or unwillingness to combat high health care costs in private insurance markets. Our system includes Medicare coverage for those 65 and older and some disabled individuals, state-operated Medicaid programs, and an array of competing private insurance plans,” the report adds.
The Commonwealth Fund has been a big fan of the Affordiable Care Act, the 2010 health reform law known widely by supporters and opponents alike as Obamacare. And the report says the legislation will do a lot to lower costs.