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U.S. is No. 1 in a key area of healthcare. Guess which one ...

June 23, 2010 | 10:19 am

Operation Australia, Canada, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Britain — all are outperforming the United States when it comes to most aspects of healthcare. Again. But we're still tops in one area: spending.

Take that, Netherlands.

The assessment is from a new Commonwealth Fund report, released Wednesday, ranking healthcare systems on quality, access, efficiency, equity and healthy lives.

After pointing out that the other countries have universal health coverage (perhaps you'd heard?) and that the access picture should change as the health overhaul is implemented, the summary of the report states:

"But even when access and equity measures are not considered, the U.S. ranks behind most of the other countries on most measures. ... It is apparent that the U.S. is lagging in adoption of national policies that promote primary care, quality improvement, and information technology."

The report notes that various legislative remedies (read: funds) are now being administered to mitigate these symptoms as well.

But money doesn't necessarily buy quality, as the assessment emphasizes, and it would appear we have a long way to go in improving key elements of our healthcare system.

Here's today's L.A. Times article on healthcare: Obama proposes interim health protections ... "The regulations, all outlined in the healthcare overhaul bill, include barring insurance plans from denying coverage to children with preexisting conditions. Republicans call the rules a sales job."

— Tami Dennis

Photo: A patient undergoes robotic surgery in Florida. Credit: Roberto Gonzalez / Orlando Sentinel

 

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