Friday, August 21, 2009

Annals of Surgery Abstract on Healthcare Reform

Abstract: The United States has the most expensive and complex healthcare system in the world. Despite the magnitude of funds spent on the system, Americans do not achieve the high standards of health seen in other developed countries.

The current model of health insurance has failed to deliver efficient and effective healthcare. The administrative costs and lack of buying power that arise out of the existing multipayer system are at the root of the problem. The current system also directly contributes to the rising number of uninsured and underinsured Americans.

This lack of insurance leads to poorer health outcomes, and a significant amount of money is lost into the system by paying for these complications. Experience from other countries suggests that tangible improvements can occur with conversion to a single-payer system. However, previous efforts at reform have stalled.

There are many myths commonly held true by both patients and physicians. This inscrutability of the US healthcare system may be the major deterrent to its improvement. A discussion of these myths can lead to increased awareness of the inequality of our healthcare system and the possibilities for improvement.

Sarpel U, Vladeck G, Divina C: Klotman P. Fact and Fiction: Debunking Myths in the US Healthcare System Annals of Surgery: April 2008 - volume 247-Issue 4 - PP 563-569