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Uppity Wisconsin - Progressive Webmasters

« Republican Tax Cuts: The Dirty Little Secret | Main | Bush: "I am not Winston Churchill." »

May 10, 2006


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Mike Serpe

Closer to the truthiness? It's a "health care cost hell", not a "tax hell"!


U.S. Health Care Spending Highest Among Industrialized Countries, Study Says

The U.S. spent the most money on health care per capita among industrialized countries in 2003, according to a report published Tuesday in the journal Health Affairs, the Baltimore Sun reports. For the report, researchers from Johns Hopkins University and Princeton University examined data from the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development and found that the U.S. spent $5,635 per person on health care in 2003 -- two-and-a-half times the $2,280 average among industrialized countries. U.S. spending was 48% higher than Norway, which was the second-highest spender per capita at $3,807. Researchers said that the U.S. spends more than other nations in large part because of higher prices for health care goods and services. The study also finds that the U.S. spent 43 cents per capita on health technology -- less than one-tenth of the spending in Australia, which has the second-lowest spending level on health technology. Canada spends $31.85 per person and Germany spends $21.20 per person on health care IT, researchers said. According to the study, the U.S. lags "at least a dozen years" behind other industrialized countries in adopting electronic health records. The study notes that health care IT is believed to reduce and improve patient safety, although there have been no definitive studies on the issue (Salganik, Baltimore Sun, 5/10). An abstract of the study is available online.

According to the report, the United States spent $5,635 per person on health care, two and a half times the average for industrialized countries of $2,280. U.S. spending was 48 percent higher than Norway, the second-highest spender at $3,807 per capita.

Past comparisons by Anderson and his colleagues have also found spending much higher in the United States than in other developed countries. They have attributed the difference in spending in large measure to higher prices for health care goods and services.

This year's article is based on 2003 data compiled by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, a Paris-based organization of industrialized countries.

The use of information technology, such as electronic health records, is believed to reduce costs and improve patient safety, but the article notes that there are no definitive studies on cost savings.

Brian LaClue

There's a fine report about how Wisconsin's state tax system became unfair put out by The Institute For Wisconsin's Future written by Andrew Reschovsky and Chad Reuter.
They point out that during the period 1974 to 1995 middle and lower class Wisconsinites faced the largest increases in tax burdens. Who were the legislators who provided the leadership on this? I'd like to know. Obviously their crack pot realist economic strategy didn't work. We've lost manufacturing jobs, wages are stagnant, college is becoming more unaffordable, chronic unemployment for African Americans in Milwaukee, and on and on. These people don't have much to show for their trickle down economics.
The authors point out that the 16 bracket tax structure was flattened to 8 by 1979. Just who were these legislators who decimated the progressivity of our tax structure? By 1995 we were down to three tax brackets. The tax rate on the poorest among us was actually increased!
Meanwhile the top rate was cut from 11.4 in 1974 to 6.93 by 95. What a nice break for the privileged in our state.
Now these facts need to be driven back into the mainstream media, where most folks get their news. Progressives should start by using their media outlets and just repeating this message over and over.

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