It may surprise you to know the United States is spending 1/5th of its total annual budget on health care, so why does it feel like scraping the bottom of the barrel sometimes when poor families look for sources to pay hospital bills? Twenty percent in health spending seems like enough, but when you compare that with Egypt for example which allocates a little more than 23% to health, it does put the whole thing in proper perspective.
You can argue that it’s unfair to compare Egypt with the United States when the authoritarian state doesn’t have the same budget as the most powerful (arguably) country in the world,although the US trumps Egypt in terms of population (about 312 million to Egypt’s estimated 77 million) and you may have a case. Saudi Arabia would be a better model to benchmark the US against, but do you know how much the kingdom state allocates for health spending? Nearly half of its total budget!
Here’s a bit of reality check: socialized medicines in socialist countries like Cuba mean their citizens have a better,capacity to pay hospital bills than the average middle class family in the US.
Nobody is suggesting that we shift our form of government to socialism but there’s a lesson that needs to be learned here. The problem is the whole system is geared toward private companies making a excess profit on the insured to cover the uninsured.
The whole thing proves that having the most resources is not the single determining factor to have an efficient health care system. A 2007 study by the World Health Organization revealed that 11 rich countries are allocating less to health compared to almost 25% of impoverished countries in the world. That’s something to mull over when thinking how the US health care has so much room for improvement.
Indeed, reforms are needed to make proactive choices to improve the health industry rather than always be reactionary. Millions of Americans who can’t pay hospital bills turn to bankruptcy lawyers for help. Who else is helping them?