U.S. Health Care System Trails Other Countries on Access to Care, Affordability, Equity

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<p>In the United States—more than in 11 other wealthy countries—the health care you receive varies with your level of income, according to a new Commonwealth Fund report. In the U.S., for instance, 44 percent of lower-income people reported that costs prevented them from getting needed health care, while only 26 percent of higher-income people did. In the United Kingdom, 7 percent of those with lower incomes and 4 percent of those with higher incomes said the same. </p><p>These findings are available today in <em>Mirror, Mirror 2017: International Comparison Reflects Flaws and Opportunities for Better U.S. Health Care</em>. Using surveys and other data, the report compares and ranks 11 wealthy nations (Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, the United Kingdom, and the United States) on 72 measures of health care system performance. The U.S. ranks last overall, as well as in the domains of access, equity, and health care outcomes.</p>
<p>“Despite substantial gains in coverage and access to care due to the Affordable Care Act, our health care system is still not working as well as it could for Americans, and it works especially poorly for those with middle or lower incomes,” said Commonwealth Fund President David Blumenthal, M.D. “The health care policies currently being contemplated in Congress would certainly exacerbate these challenges as millions would lose access to health insurance and affordable health care.”</p>

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