What Makes Singapore’s Health Care So Cheap?

Aerial_View_of_Singapore

Singapore’s health care system is distinctive, and not just because of the improbability that it’s admired by many on both the American left and the right.

It spends less of its economy on health care than any country that was included in our recent tournament on best health systems in the world.

And it spends far, far less than the United States does. Yet it achieves some outcomes Americans would find remarkable. Life expectancy at birth is two to three years longer than in Britain or the United States. Its infant mortality rate is among the lowest in the world, about half that of the United States, and just over half that of Britain, Australia, Canada and France.
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A New Prescription for Healthcare: Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship

health-2082630_1280We are living through what is arguably the most challenging time for the health care industry. Globally, health care appears to be on a collision course with patient needs and economic reality. No one is happy with the current system, and the combination of rising costs, poor access, inequitable care, and diminishing quality and safety has created anxiety and frustration for all. Decades of interventions have failed to improve the situation; if anything, things have become worse. Current approaches tend to focus on a single issue or problem (the price of drugs, rising numbers without medical insurance, provider incentives to over treat), but an overarching solution has remained elusive.
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Trumping Obamacare . . . How a Market Based Approach to Universal Healthcare can Work

US Medical care illustrated by flag and stethoscope

There is no issue more important to the future of America than it’s long-term fiscal sustainability. And the long-term fiscal sustainability of the United States has been placed in jeopardy primarily by the structure and expense of America’s healthcare system. According to the Congressional Budget Office, nearly the entirety of the growth in federal spending as a share of the economy—excluding interest—can be explained by government health programs: Medicare, Medicaid, the Medicaid-related Children’s Health Insurance Program, and the Affordable Care Act. In addition, one of the principal economic challenges faced by middle- and lower-income Americans is the expense and instability of American health insurance.
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Trumping Obamacare…Decoding the American Health Care Act

American Health Care Act

After a seven year wait to repeal and replace President Barack Obama’s signature health care law, the GOP’s much-anticipated replacement collectively called the American Health Care Act (AHCA) was unveiled this week. Amidst a revolt from the left and right, doctors, hospitals and insurers, the plan cleared its first hurdle at 4.30 am on Thursday- approval by the House Ways and Means Committee and The House Energy and Commerce Committee after 18 and 27 of hours of debate respectively. It now has to be approved by a full House and the Senate…the former likely (although not guaranteed) and the latter impossible without bipartisan support.
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What the Next President Should Do: Healthcare Common Sense

The 2016 election is over, and a top priority for the new administration and Congress is healthcare. The candidates discussed little substance about healthcare during the campaigns, despite the fact it is approaching 20% of our economy and touches every American. You could say the problems in healthcare have been caused by action by one party and inaction by another party. You could say Republicans want this and Democrats want that, but I don’t think labeling should be the focus. The problem is Congress (both parties) are tied to special interest groups. Insurers, medical device manufacturers, pharmaceutical companies, and the plaintiff’s bar, along with Congress created our unaffordable healthcare system.
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Is today’s hospital a Donald Trump or a Jeb Bush?

Recently I took a cab from the Dallas airport to a downtown hotel. During the ride I inquired of my driver what he thought of Uber. That was a mistake. I got a detailed and thorough analysis of everything he thought was wrong with the Uber concept and why it could not possibly last. His argument included that the drivers were not licensed, they did not have to pass any sort of test about the geography of the city, and that they did not carry adequate insurance. This contrasted with everything I’d heard from many friends that Uber is the best thing that has happened to intra-city travel.
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Affordable Care Act – Good Intentions Hampered

In the late 1800’s France poured money, men and material into building the Panama Canal. They were spectacularly unsuccessful. Years later the concept of a canal intrigued President Theodore Roosevelt. The prevailing sentiment at the time was that the canal should go to Nicaragua presumably because clearly anything connected with the French had to be slipshod.

It was only after some thoughtful discussion and Roosevelt’s leadership that the decision was made for the United States to build the canal through Panama along the same route previously attempted by the French.

In today’s environment anyone or anything associated with the Affordable Care Act is also immediately dismissed as irrelevant and moot by the political right.
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2013 – The Year Medical Fixes Got Busted

Dr. Aaron Carroll said that lifestyle changes are just as effective for reducing your chances of dying from heart disease, stroke and diabetes as drugs were. Yet we spend billions of dollars on such drugs. In his latest CNN Opinion article he also states that the FDA has also made news this year by banning things we once thought were good for us. He concludes that we don’t spend nearly enough on public health measures that could make much more of a difference. We have no problem subsidizing the cost of drugs, but we’d hardly consider subsidizing exercise or dieting at the same levels.
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Healing Healthcare In America – It’s About Healing Connections

Dr. Carl Hammerschlag Speaks Out… These are times of uncertainty and anxiety in healthcare delivery in America. The botched rollout of the Affordable Care Act has been a problem, but like it or not some form of it is here to stay. The ACA has provided the impetus for a cultural shift in healthcare delivery from an economically unaffordable interventional model (ERs, tests, and procedures) to one that focuses on prediction and prevention.

I applaud this paradigm shift; never in the history of medicine have great advances against disease come from providing more doctors, doing more procedures, and prescribing more drugs.
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Healing Healthcare In America – Sacred Work

Stanley Hupfeld Speaks Out… Perhaps one of my most valuable life lessons was learned while serving in Viet Nam. My rank was lieutenant and my job title (MOS in military lingo) was Battalion Surgeon Assistant. In that role I was responsible for a platoon of medics.  These young men were the individuals who, with a company of infantry, went out every day with a cross on their chest and no gun, to confront the enemy.  My experience was that they performed brilliantly, often with great courage.

As part of their command structure I was responsible for making their difficult job as easy as possible. 
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