argument top image

< Back to question Why is healthcare in the US so expensive? Show more Show less

Healthcare in America seems to be a lot more expensive than the rest of the world. From research and development for pharmaceutical drugs, to diagnostic tests, to doctors' salaries, everything in America has a higher price tag. In fact, in 2016, 17.8% of the country's GDP was spent on healthcare. Meanwhile, countries such as France, Sweden, Canada, Australia, and many others only spent around 11.5% of their GDP on healthcare-related reasons. Is the higher price of healthcare in America justifiable? What factors are driving the costs of healthcare and making it so expensive?

The rising costs of drugs, facilities, medication, and premiums result in excessive fees Show more Show less

The everyday medical protocol in hospitals has established that a large number of tests be performed. Also, prescription drugs and premiums cost more due to monopolies or price manipulation. Hospitals explain that these prices help them provide exceptional care while patients argue that they are unnecessary and expensive.
< (2 of 3) Next position >

A large number of diagnostic tests are conducted for every patient

America, on average, tends to run more medical tests than most other countries. They are equipped with more machinery, and patients are referred to laundry lists of tests even for the smallest conditions. The effectiveness of this method is questionable and potentially a waste of money It is no wonder that healthcare costs are more expensive as a result of this.
< (3 of 3) Next argument >

Vote

Not sure yet? Read more before voting ↓

Proponents


The Argument

Anyone who has ever walked into the doctor's office for a simple injury or pain-related reason can probably testify that a number of diagnostic tests were done on them. While some of these tests are beneficial, most are not useful. In fact, it has been recorded that American doctors use more PET, CT, and MRI machines than most countries.[1] America has 35 machines per 1 million people, while France only has 8. There is an over-reliance on diagnostic tests and sometimes, these tests are performed regardless of how effective they are. The Los Angeles Times reported that every year $200 billion are wasted on medical tests.[2] Such unnecessary levels of testing are done because US health providers earn more by running more tests. Doctors are indirectly pressured to perform more tests so the medical centers can make more money. Sometimes the same test is run multiple times, or a more expensive procedure is recommended. These efforts are mostly taken with the intention of boosting revenues for the medical center. All across America, this has become normal. While its effectiveness is questionable, there is no doubt that the large number of tests conducted increases the overall price of healthcare.

Counter arguments

While some tests might seem redundant or unnecessary, they are all ultimately a part of the diagnostic process. Healthcare in the US is not overly expensive due to a few extra essential tests. When a patient enters with a mix of complicated symptoms, they might not completely fit any one medical condition. If the doctor were to ignore a certain symptom or not properly analyze it, they might fail to deliver the right diagnosis. Not only does this cause many problems for the patient, but it could also expose the doctor to legal action. All of these will cost more medical personnel care, time, effort, and money. By running multiple tests, doctors are actually preventing future complications and saving money.

Premises

[P1] American healthcare involves an extremely high level of testing that is often unnecessary, and sometimes done to increase profits. [P2] The high costs associated with superfluous testing lead to raised healthcare costs.

Rejecting the premises

[Rejecting P1] Unnecessary tests are the outliers; most tests are done for thoroughness and to increase the likelihood of proper treatment. [Rejecting P2] Running multiple tests more often than not saves more money than is spent on the tests.

References

  1. https://www.realclearpolicy.com/articles/2019/04/04/five_facts_why_us_health_care_is_so_expensive__111148.html/source.html
  2. https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-medical-tests-20170526-story.html/source.html

This page was last edited on Tuesday, 25 Aug 2020 at 15:23 UTC

Explore related arguments