Letter: Administrative costs plague U.S. healthcare

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To the Editor:

A recent article in the Annals of Internal Medicine looks at the cost of insurance overhead and the administrative expenditures of hospitals, physicians, nursing homes, home care agencies, and hospices. Costs are then compared to Canada, which has a single payer system that offers health care to all. Keep in mind that by many measures, Canada's health care system has better health outcomes for its citizens.

The study finds that in 2017 (the latest year when all statistics are available), the U.S. spent $812 billion on health care administration, amounting to $2,500 per capita versus $550 per capita in Canada. Remember that these are administrative costs and not the cost of the care that you might receive. We pay about 4.5 times what the Canadians pay to administer our health care system.

This huge difference reflects the inefficiencies of the private insurance-based multipayer system which plagues the United States. Do you wonder why your hospital or doctor bill is so high? In part, it's because of runaway administrative costs. What can you do? Vote for someone who supports Improved Medicare for All.

G. Richard Dundas, MD,

Bennington

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