I hate to say I told you so, but well…I did. Here’s the latest on American health insurance habits: Americans spend more on medical care than their foreign counterparts. But not their own money…oh no, uh uh…Americans spend more insurance dollars, because the perception is that their health is somebody else’s responsibility.

According to new research conducted at George Washington University, insured immigrants spend less on medical expenses than U.S.-born citizens, even after accounting for lower levels of insurance coverage. Well, no kidding; you don’t say. In fact, overall health care spending was 20% less for American immigrants, even when controlling for factors like health status and age.

No surprise to me–I’ve been reporting on the convoluted American health paradigm for quite some time. Americans, in general, think that health care is an entitlement–which might not be a problem if the average citizen did all they could to take care of themselves. But when a large number of all illnesses are lifestyle related, it really skews the stats, doesn’t it?

The authors of the study point out that these results “contradict the popular belief that immigrants are a drain on the U.S. health system.” I agree. But even more telling in my opinion is that Americans overuse the medical system for one simple reason: They aren’t footing the entire bill. Truth is that all insured people foot the bill for those using health care the most–the obese, drug addicts (both recreational and pharmaceutical), and the neglectful. And our current government wants to now give us more to pay for with universal health care. You really think this is the answer to “fixing” the health care crisis? Wake up call: not only is there not a crisis, but universal health care is going to cost way more than ever imagined. You’ll see.

3 Responses to The American Way

  1. Dr. IKE says:

    Well said, Doc. Without personal responsibility, health care costs and–in my opinion–quality will continue on the death spiral. True health care reform will always start at home.

  2. Cure A Bill says:

    Yes, personal responsibility for how you take care of yourself is something often not wanted to be discussed because the answers are uncomfortable and not easy to watch what you eat, exercise, moderate behaviors and don’t smoke. For many Americans that’s impossible to do. And drives up healthcare costs for everybody.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Universal healthcare isn’t coming any time soon to the U.S. That is very clear.

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