Friday, November 2, 2007

One Third of Americans Call for Health System Rebuild While SCHIP Faces New Veto

Thursday the SCHIP legislation cleared the senate by a vote of 64-30, still not enough to override the promised veto from the executive branch. This would be President Bush's second veto of this legislation.

The Associated Press analysis of the situation yields the following:

In a situation of bewildering political complexity, Republicans dictated the decision to pass the legislation speedily. It appeared their goal was to short-circuit attempts by supporters of the bill to reach a compromise that could attract enough votes in the House to override Bush's veto.

Attempts by [U.S. Senator Harry] Reid to delay final passage of the bill until next week or longer drew objections from the Republicans.

This new round in the ongoing SCHIP battle comes as Science News brings us the results of a new seven nation study by the Commonwealth Fund, showing that over one third of Americans want a total rebuild of our health care system from the ground up. This is the highest rate of any of the countries surveyed, and cites medical errors, costs, and long waits for treatment as major contributing factors.
As in previous surveys, U.S. adults were most likely to have gone without care because of cost and to have high out-of-pocket costs. In the U.S., nearly two of five (37%) of all adults and 42% of those with chronic conditions had skipped medications, not seen a doctor when sick, or foregone recommended care in the past year because of costs -- rates well above all other countries. In contrast to the U.S., patients in Canada, the Netherlands, and the U.K. rarely report having to forgo needed medical care because of costs.

In addition, one-fifth of U.S. adults report serious problems paying medical bills--more than double the rate in the next highest country. And nearly one third (30%) in the U.S. spent more than $1,000 in the past year out-of-pocket -- a level rare in most of the other countries.
Some additional statistics provided from the report include:
  • 1 in 5 report doctors advising treatment perceived as having little to no benefit

  • Only in the Netherlands do people spend more time on paperwork and medical bill/insurance disputes

  • The U.S. has the second highest percentage of adult visits to the emergency room (36%) out of nations surveyed, exceeded only by Canada.

SOURCE: "Congress Passes New Child Health Care Bill, Setting Up Another Veto Fight With Bush" 11/02/07
SOURCE: "One Third of U.S. Adults call For Completely Rebuilding Health Care System" 11/04/07
remixed photo courtesy of James and Vilija, used under this Creative Commons license

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