Stop me if you’ve heard this one: For better health care we need to get out of the country.
And when I say better health care, I mean cheaper health care. Or really, I mean both those things since we Americans often pay more than everyone else for the same thing.
Some disturbing information is highlighted in an annual report, out today, from the International Federation of Health Plans. It looks at health care price variations across the globe, while offering insight into one of the greatest, age-old debates. Why do we spend so much on health care? Here’s their answer. Ready? Our prices are too high. (Prices! who would have thought of that one?)
An average one-day hospital stay in the United States cost a whopping $4,293 last year, six times more than it did in Argentina and nearly 10 times the cost in Spain.
An MRI? That’s (on average) $1,145 in the United States. In Switzerland, it’s $138.
Delivering a baby? $6,623 in Australia; $10,002 in the States.
An abdominal CT scan is nearly $900 here. Want it for $800 less? Go to Canada.
Here’s where you might counter with, “Who cares? You want cheaper prices? Go to Canada, then!” Health care in the United States — and everything else — is far superior (the prevailing wisdom suggests), and they’ll pay more here rather than suffer through medical procedures in Europe.