In June 2017, the United States Senate rejected
a third attempt under President Donald Trump to repeal the Affordable Care Act. This failure was the latest development in
the US’s slow move towards socialized healthcare. But in fact, the United States has long had
one of the worst balances between what healthcare costs each citizen, and what benefit they
get out of it. In the rest of the world, citizens pay much
less, or nothing, and often receive higher quality care, with higher life expectancy
and lower rates of disease. So, we wanted to know, which countries get
Whicthe most out of their healthcare? Well, since 2012, the Bloomberg Health-Care
Efficiency Index has measured exactly this balance. As of 2016 one of the top three ranking countries
was Spain. Spain is an above average representation of
healthcare in OECD countries, and spends roughly twenty-six hundred dollars per person with
an average life expectancy of nearly 84 years. About ten percent of the country’s GDP goes
towards healthcare costs, which are largely subsidized by the government. This system of socialized medicine is globally
known as “single-payer”, and most citizens see no out-of-pocket expenses when they visit
public hospitals. In fact, the right to healthcare is guaranteed
in Spain’s constitution. However, this system also leads to complaints
about delays in seeing doctors beyond primary care, or getting specialized surgeries. Ranking Second on the Efficiency-Index is
another country with universal healthcare, Singapore. Unlike Spain, Singapore requires that care
is NEVER provided for free, in order to avoid wasteful use of the system. Instead, healthcare costs are kept artificially
low through government subsidies, which compared to Spain, only use 1.6% of Singapore’s GDP. In addition to implementing price controls
on medical care and medication, the country uses a system known as Medisave. This is a medical savings account, where up
to 9 percent of employee salaries are required to be deducted and set aside, and can be used
for personal or family care. This combination means that costs are low,
while the quality of care is one of the highest in the world. But overall, the best, and most efficient
healthcare system is reportedly in the autonomous territory of Hong Kong. Interestingly, the territory uses a combination
of private and public care, with one of the highest life expectancies in the world, costing
just $2000 dollars per citizen, and comprising just 3% of the GDP. However, Hong Kong’s high ranking healthcare
may not be exactly what it seems at first glance. First of all, while public healthcare plans
can be purchased at low costs, the wait to see specialists or to get certain surgeries
can be excessive, with some sources claiming 5 year wait lists. On the other hand, private hospitals are reportedly
speedy but very expensive. This combination of low-cost care for routine
visits and medication, with high priced elective or specialized care makes Hong Kong’s system
incredibly efficient, and difficult to overburden, thereby avoiding raising costs for everyone. While these three countries get the most bang
for their buck, with very high standards of care and life expectancy, they are also difficult
to apply broadly around the world. Singapore and Hong Kong have populations of
under ten million people, meaning that most health factors are uniform throughout the
region and population. By comparison, the United States is enormous,
with a population of over 320 million, making centralized, or single payer healthcare more
difficult to implement without serious complications. Nonetheless, US healthcare costs are astronomical,
with medical bills being the number one cause of bankruptcy for Americans. So why is US health care so incredibly expensive? Check out this video to the right to find
out. Thanks for watching Nowthis World, don’t
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