CEOs list US health care as liability in global market

Yet the GOP keeps telling us it’s the best system in the world. Well, when they’re not blaming everything on lawyers, because they know that insurance companies, pharmaceuticals and doctors have nothing to do with the problems.

The report from the Business Roundtable, which represents CEOs of major companies, says America’s health care system has become a liability in a global economy.

Concern about high U.S. costs has existed for years, and business executives — whose companies provide health coverage for workers — have long called for getting costs under control. Now President Barack Obama says the costs have become unsustainable and the system must be overhauled.

Americans spend $2.4 trillion a year on health care. The Business Roundtable report says Americans in 2006 spent $1,928 per capita on health care, at least two-and-a-half times more per person than any other advanced country.

In a different twist, the report took those costs and factored benefits into the equation.

It compares statistics on life expectancy, death rates and even cholesterol readings and blood pressures. The health measures are factored together with costs into a 100-point “value” scale. That hasn’t been done before, the authors said.

The results are not encouraging.

The United States is 23 points behind five leading economic competitors: Canada, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom and France. The five nations cover all their citizens, and though their systems differ, in each country the government plays a much larger role than in the U.S.

The cost-benefit disparity is even wider — 46 points — when the U.S. is compared with emerging competitors: China, Brazil and India.

Not to pick on the many qualities of the emerging markets, but how pathetic is it to be losing to China, Brazil and India? Only the GOP could think that a little tweaking here and there could solve this embarrassing problem.


An American in Paris, France. BA in History & Political Science from Ohio State. Provided consulting services to US software startups, launching new business overseas that have both IPO’d and sold to well-known global software companies. Currently launching a new cloud-based startup. Full bio here.

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