Healthcare Costs and Performance, Again

Kevin Drum reads the Commonwealth Fund’s report comparing healthcare performance in various countries:

I’ll just cut to the chase: we suck. Despite the fact that we see doctors less often, go to the hospital less often, and stay in the hospital for shorter times than any of the other countries in the report, we still spend by far the most money. In return for this we get lousier care.

At this point, is there anyone out there that doubts this? Regardless of the reasons for it, is there anyone out there that doubts that we pay more and get poorer (or charitably, comparable) service to folks in other countries?

The reason typically given… other countries are free-riding on the drug research paid for by Americans – that might go some way toward explaining higher costs for pharmaceuticals, but for hospital visits?