The Stats and The Reality

Via Digby, here's a handy chart documenting how disgraceful and embarrassing the American healthcare system truly is.


Faker wingnuts like Glenn Beck continue to repeat that we have the best healthcare system in the world. Of course the numbers don't bear this out. Glenn Beck is lying. We might have some of the best medical technology and some great doctors, but we also have a lot of private jets, mansions and other sorts of bling which nobody can really afford.

So what good is the best medical technology if it's so expensive that it's bankrupting one family every 30 seconds following a serious illness?

More statistics for your arsenal:

In 2008, health care spending in the United States reached $2.4 trillion, and was projected to reach $3.1 trillion in 2012.1 Health care spending is projected to reach $4.3 trillion by 2016.

Health care spending is 4.3 times the amount spent on national defense.

A recent study by Harvard University researchers found that the average out-of-pocket medical debt for those who filed for bankruptcy was $12,000. The study noted that 68 percent of those who filed for bankruptcy had health insurance. In addition, the study found that 50 percent of all bankruptcy filings were partly the result of medical expenses.

About 1.5 million families lose their homes to foreclosure every year due to unaffordable medical costs.

Retiring elderly couples will need $250,000 in savings just to pay for the most basic medical coverage. Many experts believe that this figure is conservative and that $300,000 may be a more realistic number.