The United States is on a winning streak, the bad kind of winning streak. A study done by the well respected Commonwealth Fund concluded that the quality of the U.S. health-care system when compared with 10 other western, industrialized nations which included the United Kingdom, Canada, Switzerland, Germany, and Australia was the least effective in terms of quality of care and the most effective in terms of cost. Lenny Bernstein of the Washington Post points out that in terms spending per capita, the U.S. was first at $8,508 while the next closest country was Norway at $5,669. The Commonwealth Fund stated “Although the U.S. spends more on health care than any other country and has the highest proportion of specialist physicians, survey findings indicate that from the patients’ perspective, and based on outcome indicators, the performance of American health care is severely lacking.
The report emphasizes the country's primary care shortage and the general lack of access to care for the poor. Many of the other countries surveyed have made a collective effort to address their problems and hopefully the U.S. will join them.