27 Mar 2013

21 graphs that show America’s health-care prices are ludicrous

Every year, the International Federation of Health Plans — a global insurance trade association that includes more than 100 insurers in 25 countries — releases survey data showing the prices that insurers are actually paying for different drugs, devices, and medical services in different countries. And every year, the data is shocking.
The IFHP just released the data for 2012. And yes, once again, the numbers are shocking.
This is the fundamental fact of American health care: We pay much, much more than other countries do for the exact same things. For a detailed explanation of why, see this article. But this post isn’t about the why. It’s about the prices, and the graphs.
One note: Prices in the United States are expressed as a range. There’s a reason for that. In other countries, prices are set centrally and most everyone, no matter their region or insurance arrangement, pays pretty close to the same amount. In the United States, each insurer negotiates its own prices, and different insurers end up paying wildly different amounts. That’s what Steven Brill’s explosive article was about, and it’s why you see U.S. prices expressed as a range rather than a single number.


  1. Regrettably, your article dies aborning with the fallacious title regarding "Health Care". No such thing exists. The more appropriate, and accurately descriptive term, remains "Disease Management".

    BTW, for "side effects" please consider substituting the military term "collateral damage".

    Once you learn to speak clearly, you will have the foundation to think clearly.

    Until then, good luck with that!

  2. Time to nationalize health care. Privatized health care only seeks to maximize profits. We need to maximize the quality of our health care, while minimizing costs. There is just no room for "profit" in health care. Profiting off of someone else's misfortune just isn't ethical.

    1. Maybe rather than nationalizing the industry and simply passing the problem onto the taxpayer in the form of crippling taxes it would be better to actually solve the core problem: lawyers and unions. We are up to our necks in litigation of every kind and the medical industry is the worst. Medical providers get sued for billions and therefore go way overboard on excessively cautious treatments. And the union rules force fully qualified doctors to perform even the simplest tasks while restricting the number who can enter the field each year.

  3. And, having seen it first hand, American health care is dreadful and incompetent.

  4. The medical industrial complex is crooked as the day is long. Short story for an example. I had a situation where my daughter was taken to the hospital emergency room to see if she had internal injuries. I drove her there. What ended in nothing more than an x-ray exam and cleaning and bandaging some scrapes, cost $50,000, two hospital visits and an ambulance ride. All paid for with insurance, yet people don't get that because I didn't actually have to pay that price, someone does.
    I am completely with Samuel Clemmens (Mark Twain) all doctors are sharks and charlatans. I may add the entire support apparatus as well and especially the insurance industry.
    People forget that insurance was a crime family original invention.