I know I can treat you better than he can! Why is healthcare so expensive in US?

What the Vox says: interesting healthcare data


I won’t lie to you I know he’s just not right for you And you can tell me if I’m off But I see it on your face When you say that he’s the one that you want And you’re spending all your time In this wrong situation And anytime you want it to stop [Chorus] I know I can treat you better than he can And any girl like you deserves a gentleman Tell me why are we wasting time On all your wasted crying When you should be with me instead I know I can treat you better Better than he can

Frontline did a good piece about this. “Sick around the world.” The author does a review of 6 countries including the US, UK, Japan, Germany, Taiwan and Switzerland. He compares them on a couple of things described in the graphic below, as well as a bunch of others, but these are some of the main ones. All the other countries have universal healthcare, based off of different systems. There are some systemic problems in the different countries, like japan being in deficits. Taiwan kinda did a study based off of similar principles when they designed their own system, and its kinda underfunded, but thatd probably be solved if they put 8% of gdp into it. They seem to tout taiwan and switzerland as being the best options.


Here are some graphs that go through some of the major differences.


The countries had some similarities:

If youre asking what the specific causes are, I think its some combination of malpractice insurance, excessively high administrative costs (particularly relating to insurance), no standard set pricing for different procedures or care, artificial restrictions on the number of people that can become clinicians (for example only 4 nps allowed per md in california), higher quality in access to treatment that isnt available in other places, and a pricing scheme that involves insurance companies, medical professionals and govt reimbursements that leads to overpricing that is hardly ever followed in practice.

what % of gdp constitutes prescription drugs? I wonder what the percentages would look like without the US subsidizing the world.

Or paying for most of the R&D costs…

us definitely subsidizes it. im curious though. quick poll

would you prefer more people dying in other countries, or paying less for your care insurance?

They dont spend it on r+d


Other countries tend to have stronger protections for generics and pricing schemes that keep prices lower. They



I’ve studied a bit of pharma and I’m aware of shit like what shkreli did being rampant. There are a bunch of firms that do the same thing, as well as the big companies.

It does seem that more drugs get developed here, but that seems to be more of a function of research done by groups funded by the NIH or VC’s rather than big pharma. I am a bit skeptical though of this graph given that I am aware of what is considered a “new drug” in the US, given that they can just reformulate it slightly or get it approved for a new purpose and bam patent extension. I suspect that this may be overinflating the numbers for the USA. I dont know enough about the subject to make a really good statement.

btw even shithole coutnries are able to negotiate it down.

r&d model < acquire/partnership model

that is why health exec and researchers are having an exodus. you dont get your full worth unless you work for a start up.

sure you take the risk that your shit fails, but on the off chance you succeed, you will get a buyout and be a real baller, and if you fail, you will still likely get an agreement with milestones that is still higher than your would be salary in big health.

the ones that acquire are the ones that have had early success and are flush with cash to buy these companies. or they take on huge debts and charge hgiher prices to consumer to make the diff. Faqin aholes!

^^Not just R&D for scripts though. Think about all medical devices. The US pays for the development of those new toys doctors use.

this is a trade policy issue on which the US bends over, for what reason one can only speculate.

i remember reading somewhere awhile back saying how healthcare companies drugs charged based on the opp cost of an alternate treatment. same theory but with a different twist - maybe they are charging us more because our lives are more productive and therefore more valuable, hence a higher opp cost. eh!