Tuesday, December 15, 2020
Income-Related Inequality In Affordability And Access To Primary Care In Eleven High-Income Countries | Health Affairs
Income-Related Inequality In Affordability And Access To Primary Care In Eleven High-Income Countries | Health Affairs: A high-performing health care system strives to achieve universal access, affordability, high-quality care, and equity, aiming to reduce inequality in outcomes and access. Using data from the 2020 Commonwealth Fund International Health Policy Survey, we report on health status, socioeconomic risk factors, affordability, and access to primary care among US adults compared with ten other high-income countries. We highlight health experiences among lower-income adults and compare income-related disparities between lower- and higher-income adults across countries. Results indicate that among adults with lower incomes, those in the US fare relatively worse on affordability and access to primary care than those in other countries, and income-related disparities across domains are relatively greater throughout. The presence of these disparities should strengthen the resolve to find solutions to eliminate income-related inequality in affordability and primary care access. Comment by Don McCanne The results of another in the series of studies by The Commonwealth Fund on the health care systems of eleven wealthy nations should surprise no one who has followed the prior studies. The United States is last again, this time in income-related inequality in affordability and access to primary care. The Health Affairs study: "Results indicate that among adults with lower incomes, those in the US fare relatively worse on affordability and access to primary care than those in other countries, and income-related disparities across domains are relatively greater throughout." The Commonwealth Fund report (same authors): "Achieving greater health equity in the U.S. will likely require policies that extend insurance coverage, make health care easier to afford, and strengthen primary care. The study authors also say that greater investments are needed to address the social determinants of health — factors beyond traditional health care, such as housing, education, and nutrition, that also affect people’s health. The U.S. in particular, they say, has much to gain from examining the experience of countries where universal health coverage ensures people have access to affordable health care." When we are already spending more than enough to fix our health care system, far more than any other nation, how much longer are we going to stand in shame and embarrassment before other wealthy nations that obtain much better results with far less per capita spending than we have in the U.S.? For starters, we should enact and implement single payer Medicare for All. That will take care of health care for everyone without costing us any more than we are already spending. Then tending to other socioeconomic needs should move us up to first place, or close to it.
Posted by Craig at 3:01 PM