Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Sushi and Insurance

"The country is is straining under the twin burdens of an aging population and rising health care costs. At some point in the next two decades, retirees will outnumber active workers. Medical expenses per person have almost doubled since the 1990s and continue to rise."

Quick, to which country does the above quote refer?

If you guessed the US, you're not wrong, but you're not right, either:

Evan Falchuk, who provided us with the groundbreaking graph on health care costs and coverage around the globe, is referring here to Japan. Seems that this highly homogenous, incredibly ingenious, resolutely resourceful nation has much the same trouble with health care that we do. And even though their system is of the "universal" model, they have had little success is either curbing runaway health care costs or providing appropriate and timely delivery of care.

The whole article is well worth reading, but for me, the takeaway (carryout?) is simply this: "The equitable and affordable distribution of health care services is a problem across the globe."

That is, those who tout "universal" health care systems may think they're promising better, more affordable health care to a greater number of people, but they couldn't be more wrong.

[Hat Tip: Dr Val]
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