In another indicator that we are witnessing a gathering of common thought around major action on healthcare, the Business Roundtable – a group of Fortune 500 top executives – has release a report that “helps demonstrate the relationship between spending, quality and competitiveness while enabling us to track progress as we push forward with health care reform.”
The Roundtable’s Chair is Harold McGraw
The central argument: we spend more than all other countries by a wide margin, but end up with less value and lower health status than other countries, who are also our economic competitors. This is why President Obama has been arguing that moving ahead on health reform, which will not be a short term undertaking, is a high priority. We have delayed long enough. The forces are coming together with agreement that serious action needs to be taken.
It’s not clear exactly how the new face of health care will shake out. Everyone won’t be happy, and it will be messy. Conservatives will be yipping in the corner, refusing to bend an allegiance to a belief that a free market is the solution. Liberals looking for a one payer system won’t see that either. The solution will be somewhere in the middle, building on the successful, and efficient, organization model used by Medicare.
Following are the “talking points” from the Roundtable:
Lead Health Care Messages
In many important respects, the American health care system is among the best in the world. When it comes to scientific advances, medical technology and the quality of our doctors and medical institutions, the
But our country’s health care system also is becoming increasingly expensive, which is having a direct negative impact on American competitiveness. Rising health care costs are one of the top cost pressures facing
This study helps demonstrate the relationship between spending, quality and competitiveness while enabling us to track progress as we push forward with health care reform.
The study combines internationally reported measures covering both spending on, and the performance of, national health care systems to assign a value to the
These results show the
? U.S. workers and employers receive 23% less value from our health care system than the average of five leading economic competitors – Canada, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom and France (the “G-5 group”).
The study also shows:
? As a group, G-5 countries spend about 63 cents for every dollar the
? The gap is even wider in relation to rising economic powers: the three BIC countries spend just 15% of what we spend on health care, yet the health of the
? In terms of per capita spending, the
? When you look just at employer spending, in 2006, American businesses paid 73 cents more per hour more for health benefits than those in the G-5 group – a disparity that grew by nearly 50% between 2004 and 2006.