And there are a few more reasons why Canada spends less, she says.
Canada also has the advantage of enjoying bulk purchasing to obtain lower prices on drugs and devices, which reduces their cost to 40% of what American payers must shell out, she says. The cost of malpractice insurance is lower.
And, the same system pays for all care, including care required to deal with medical errors. "If you got injured while you were in the hospital, you'd know that your future healthcare costs would automatically be covered, so with a national healthcare insurance program you wouldn't have to sue providers to recover that," she says.
I acknowledge that Woolhandler and Himmelstein are controversial lefties. Their view of the world would eliminate health insurance plans and move the country to one source of payment for healthcare.
But given the fiscal cliff, sequestration, and the fact that healthcare spending takes up roughly 16% of our gross domestic product, their point may have some merit.
Medicare has worked well for 50 million people in the U.S. enrolled today. But the way it works is just too darn expensive.