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Explain the pros and cons of the United States health care system. 

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gracedaymon | Student, Undergraduate | Valedictorian

Posted July 10, 2012 at 3:16 AM via web

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Explain the pros and cons of the United States health care system. 

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 2) Educator Emeritus

Posted July 10, 2012 at 1:05 PM (Answer #1)

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The United States ranks worst among all developed nations in health care outcomes and highest in per capita health care expenditures. The reason for this could be because it doesn't really have a health care system per se, but rather a large assortment of private health care providers and a smaller numbers of public ones, financed to a large degree by private individuals and employers, through a mixture of largely for-profit insurance companies and smaller non-profit and governmental entities. Although the United States has extremely good health care technology and many of the best hospitals in the world, health outcomes are adversely affected by gross inequalities in care (life expectancy, infant mortality, etc. are strongly affected by income), manipulation of public media and doctor's prescribing practices by drug companies leading to over-medication and inappropriate medication (over-prescription of antibiotics and mood-affecting drugs is particularly egregious), excessive testing, and under-regulation. While the profit motive has contributed to the US being at the forefront of many innovations in medical technology, procedures, and drug discoveries, overall the US ranks 72nd in the world for overall health despite its enormous wealth, technical sophistication and research prowess.

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