From Ezra Klein:
It shows that we pay more than any other health-care system and, to add insult to injury, have ended up with more government than most of our competitors, too. It’s the worst of both worlds: a government-run health-care sector that is larger than the international norm, a private health-care sector that’s vastly larger than anything else out there and vast inefficiencies caused by the overlap and poor coordination between the two.
In other countries, the government is empowered to “say no” in the form of driving extremely hard bargains with doctors, hospitals, drug manufacturers and others. That right there is the basic difference between us and everyone else. And if you take it seriously, it explains a lot of what’s going on.
In Canada, you either sell your drug for what the Canadian government is willing to pay, or you don’t sell your drug. That’s true in pretty much every country. And it turns out that providers are willing to offer health-care services for far less than what they charge Americans. Peruse these graphs if you want some proof. But because there’s no government saying no to their prices in America, they can basically charge us whatever they want, as we have enormous trouble saying no on our own.
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