There is a superb free course available from Coursera and the University of Pennsylvania on Health Policy and the Affordable Care Act. Dr Ezekiel Emanuel who is an Onclogist is a great speaker in this free Coursera program and he starts off by providing a clear chart of the fundamental problem facing healthcare in the United Staes.
Americans spend nearly 3 times as much as Japan and Italy yet life expectancy is 4-5 years less
Yes, the data is six years old – but more recent data is even worse on the total spending per capita for the US. Yes, Life Expectancy may not be the best measure of heath care effectiveness as Japan and Italy may have some genetic advantages or less environmental health risks than Americans. But other measures like Life Expectancy after Attaining the Age of 65 show the same pattern- thus reducing any purported genetic or environmental advantages. And other measures of heathcare servce satisfaction are hard to measure and may miss the real success factor – longer life. For example, cancer patients are willing to spend sizble sums to achieve 1 added quarter of expected life expectancy.
So answering this conundrum is what make this course so interesting Here are 3 thing which make the course so vital and interesting:
1)The critical problem in US Healthcare is well defined – The US spends so much on health care gets less than top flight returns and yet those costs are continually increasing at ;
2)the Good Doctor has provided a substantial array of myth busting resources and documentation on all aspects of Health care. It literally reads and unfolds as a great Who Done It mystery. How can the US spend at least twice as much most developed countries yet get s notably poorer results;
3)the Good Doctor is great speaker in the class videos – he certainly keeps your attention.
So if you want know more about Health Policy and Obamacare – the real facts put in context, this is a course you can still sign up for and get great insight on the Health Care Debate. Yes, you are well behind if you want to get credit – but the data, readings and lectures are so good it is truly worth the while. Highly recommended.