How does American health care stack up against other countries around the world? The American Association of University Women (AAUW) sought the answer to that question.
On Thursday, the AAUW had a PowerPoint presentation at the Federated Women??s Club House in Marquette, allowing residents to get a better understanding of our current health care system and where it??s headed.
The presenting physicians say according to a government study by the National Institutes of Health (NIH), American health care is producing mixed results. The study compared the United States to 17 different countries including Switzerland and Great Britain.
While American health care ranked high in areas of research and shortest hospital stays, it lacked in others.
"In terms of length of life, we are, out of 17 countries, 17," said Dr. Teresa Frankovitch, Medical Director for Marquette County Health Department. "When we look at things across the board from infant mortality to teen pregnancy, to STDs, to violent deaths, we actually come out pretty much at the bottom."
The physicians say money isn't the issue, adding that 17 cents of every dollar goes into the U.S. health care system. They say part of the problem lies in poor decision making.
"How much we drink, what we're eating...those are not things that are going to be easily legislated," Frankovitch explained. "As we move forward in health care reform, we really look at targeting prevention."
"It makes no sense to be spending the bulk of our dollars for diseases that we could prevent," she added.
The Affordable Care Act aims to address other factors, like limited access to care and uninsured Americans, but it may still be a work in progress.
"Fewer people will have access to health care, but it doesn't answer that entirely," said Dr. Kevin Piggott, Assistant CMO and Medical Director of Community Health at Marquette General Health System. "We continue to work on issues on health care and accessibility."
The physicians say under the Affordable Care Act, 32 million more Americans will now have health insurance.