People Without Health Insurance - Increases by 2 Million
The U.S. Census Bureau reported Tuesday that the number of Americans who do not have any health insurance grew to an all time high of 47 million people last year. That increase of uninsured people is a rise of two million from 2005. The number of children without health coverage also rose by 600,000 last year. If a child can't get his or her mental health problems addressed - they are much more likely to develop to more serious mental illnesses later in life. All other developed countries have 100% coverage (see here).
This issue is an important one for several reasons:
1. Good health insurance (or any decent health insurance) allows the early treatment for mental health problems that helps prevent the development of more serious mental health problems. If a child who is having psychological problems can get early treatment - there is much lower risk of them getting full blown mental illnesses later in life - with all the cost in human lives and jailings that are so common. Early treatment saves lives, and saves money. In most other developed countries, mental health screening that allows early treatment is done in schools and and in clinics on a regular basis. In the US, we wait until its very late and much of the damage is done - resulting in much greater harm to the person, and lowering the likelihood that the person will be able to recover. (see here for more information)
2. All the other major industrialized countries (European countries, Australia, Canada, Japan, etc.) have 100% health insurance coverage for their citizens - so the US is spending a lot of money to insure 20% less of their population. (see here for more information)
3. The US spends approximately 15% of Gross National Product (GNP) on health care each year - this is significantly more than any other developed country (which typically spends 7% to 11% of GNP on healthcare. Despite the high spending - the US is at the bottom of the list for lifespan, infant mortality - and other important measures of health care (see source here). So - not only are we not covering approximately 20% of the population in the US - we're paying a LOT more to provide coverage for the much smaller percentage of the population that does get health care, and even for the people who are covered, the health results are worse then other nations. (see here for more information)
Ranks of People Without Health Insurance Rising, Says U.S. Census Department (WebMD)
More Americans Lack Health Insurance
Posted by szadmin at August 30, 2007 07:04 AM
More Information on Mental Healthcare Insurance
I think the situation in your country is terrible, it only caters for 70% of people, I watch a bit of American news on sky TV and their argument was, if it works for 75% of people why change it for 25% of people that have just made the wrong life choices, I thought this train of thinking was callous, it's a major issue but the people most affected which are the poor don't have a political voice.
Posted by: Salty Davis at August 31, 2007 12:10 PM
I noticed you did not post what grand and glorious country you live in. Why are you ashamed of it? Could it be if was not for the terrible USA. You would be speaking either German or Russian. What is your counties unemployment rate. What great invention has your country produced lately? How much money did you personally donate to the poor and needy? Or are you the type that thinks thats for other people to do.
Posted by: EZ at September 3, 2007 07:46 PM
EZ i sponsor a boy in Zimbawa , despite being poor myself, your response and attitude says it all.
Posted by: Salty Davis at September 4, 2007 02:27 PM
Quote: "The US spends approximately 15% of Gross National Product (GNP) on health care each year - this is significantly more than any other developed country (which typically spends 7% to 11% of GNP on healthcare. So - not only are we not covering approximately 20% of the population in the US - we're paying a LOT more to provide coverage for the much smaller percentage of the population that does get health care. Sounds like a bad deal overall."
People should realize that the 15% GNP that the U.S. spends on healthcare includes medical research and technology development. It's not just going to "provide coverage". This money includes the budgets of NIH, CDC, NSF, HSR&D, other federal funding, private charity funding, and state funding for research. Our generous support for and international leadership in medical research is one of the reasons our % GNP spent on healthcare is much higher than that of other countries. And btw, much of this money is spent on research in other countries too poor to fund their own research. People should keep this in mind when making sweeping comparisons across countries with an umbrella statistic like "% GNP spent on healthcare each year".
Posted by: Jennifer at September 5, 2007 10:43 AM
Unfortunately, I believe you are incorrect. The 15% of GNP that we use to cover health care costs in the US only covers (and I'll quote from Wikipedia here:
"In 2003, health care costs paid to hospitals, physicians, nursing homes, diagnostic laboratories, pharmacies, medical device manufacturers and other components of the health care system, consumed 15.3 percent of the GDP of the United States, the largest of any country in the world. For United States, the health share of gross domestic product (GDP) is expected to hold steady in 2006 before resuming its historical upward trend, reaching 19.6 percent of GDP by 2016.  In 2001, for the OECD countries the average was 8.4 percent  with the United States (13.9%), Switzerland (10.9%), and Germany (10.7%) being the top three."
This is from the WikiPedia entry on healthcare - you can check the sources.
So - it does not cover the research investment by the NIH, and others.
The 15% represents the amount that we SPEND on health care each year - so it is directly comparable to what other countries SPEND.
If you have some good sources that contradict this information, please provide it.
Posted by: szadmin at September 5, 2007 11:05 AM
Read the article again
"the number of Americans who do not have any health insurance grew to an all time high of 47 million people last year. That increase of uninsured people is a rise of two million from 2005. "
That is an horendous statistic, if it weren't for voluteer organizations people would be dying in the streets...i can identify failings in my own country such as prison over crowding etc , but you just can't see the wood for the trees and grasp the problem, i think the average american with health insurance couldn't give a damn about the other 47 million..health care should be free at the point of use for the poor ,its the basics of a modern society.
Posted by: Salty Davis at September 5, 2007 03:53 PM
Szadmin, with all due respect, Wikipedia is not a good source of thorough information on a topic, as that website relies on anonymous people to post information and also sources news articles written by journalists who aren’t familiar enough with a topic to be able to provide all relevant information on it. The % GDP on healthcare expenditures does include research. If you read the original documents about healthcare expenditures produced by the DHHS, AHRQ, or CMS - rather than relying on the parts that the media or Wikipedia posters decide to point out - you would see this. I don’t have time to go through all these reports (I did that in Public Health graduate school and don't want to again), but here’s a short blurb about 2005:
“In 2005, the nation as a whole (government, private sector, consumers) spent $2 trillion, or approximately $6,697 per capita, on health-care expenditures, roughly 16 percent of GDP.
– Personal health-care expenditures—including spending for hospital care, physician services, dental, and other types of medical care—made up 83 percent of total national health-care expenditures.
– Hospital care is the largest component of national health-care expenditures, accounting for one-third of total spending.
– Spending on administration, research, government public health activities, and facilities accounted for 17 percent."
"According to a 2005 study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, in 2003, 'the United States spent an estimated 5.6 percent of its total health expenditures on biomedical research, more than any other country...Fifty-seven percent of biomedical research dollars came from industry and 28 percent from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).'"
I’ll give Wikipedia the benefit of the doubt and assume research is part of what it refers to as "other components of the health care system".
I don’t want to stray from the main point of this thread, which is that health insurance is a problem in this country. That is undeniable. But people really do need to understand the data they are being presented with, so appropriate fixes to our system can be developed. An informed public is key to a successful society.
Posted by: Jennifer at September 6, 2007 07:34 AM
Someone is talking about GDP and other is talking about GNP . Please make sure that in the main article it mentions GNP not GDP.
Posted by: Yogesh at October 9, 2007 04:13 PM
Medical Insurance in the US sounds like a real nightmare. I live in Canada and I sleep with ease. I have been researching health insurance for the past several weeks, one of my main sources is http://tipconnection.com/category/health-care/
. Here we usually pay no more than $50/month maximum for health care insurance. how much does it cost to be covered in the US individually. I have gotten many replies to postings that vary greatly depending on what anyone is covered for specifically. just wanted to have a ballpark figure for being able to go see a doctor and be taken care of in the hospital ( example: heart operation )
thanks in advance
Posted by: fran at November 21, 2007 10:47 PM