Americans' Confidence In Health Care System Lower Than Other Industrialized Counties, Study Finds

Modern Healthcare: "Despite having the most expensive healthcare system in the industrialized world, Americans tend to have the least confidence that their system will provide them the most-effective care compared to residents of 10 other industrialized nations, a Commonwealth Fund survey has found. A survey of nearly 20,000 people in the U.S. and 10 other industrialized nations has found that U.S. consumers reported the highest level of confusing complexity of their health insurance plans, and the highest level of concern that they would not be able to afford their healthcare coverage" (Carlson, 11/18).

Reuters: "A third of Americans say they have gone without medical care or skipped filling a prescription because of cost, compared to 5 percent in the Netherlands, according to study released on Thursday. The study is the latest in a series by the non-profit Commonwealth Fund showing that while Americans pay far more per capita for healthcare, they are unhappier with the results and less healthy than people in other rich countries. … 20 percent of U.S. adults had major problems paying medical bills, compared with 2 percent in Britain and 9 percent in France, the next costliest country" (Fox, 11/18).

Economic Times: "Americans were also the most likely to have disputes with their insurance providers or discover insurance would not pay as they had expected. The survey, published on the Health Affairs website, was conducted among 19,700 adults from Australia, Canada, France, Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Britain and the United States" (11/18).

Kaiser Health News: "U.S. consumers report greater access to specialty health care but also have a tougher time seeing a doctor on the day they need help and in paying their medical bills than consumers in many other developed nations. Americans visit doctors and specialists more readily than some other countries, such as Canada and France ... Eighty percent of Americans who needed to see a specialist were seen in less than four weeks, trailing the results in only Germany and Switzerland. In Canada, the number was 41 percent" (Parashar, 11/18).

This is part of Kaiser Health News' Daily Report - a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. The full summary of the day's news can be found here and you can sign up for e-mail subscriptions to the Daily Report here. In addition, our staff of reporters and correspondents file original stories each day, which you can find on our home page.