“We’re Number … notsogood!”

We’ve done it again! The United States still ranks miserably low among industrialized countries in the overall quality of health care despite spending more than double the amount of its GDP than the average of all peer nations.

It is a complicated set of formulas by The Commonwealth Fund, but the scorecard rating performance on 37 different measures yields a U.S. rating of 66 on a scale of 100. In deaths due to preventable causes, America is 15th out of 19 countries, with France numero un.

But nobody can touch us when it comes to cost, and another report, from AARP, shows both a large increase in the cost of brand name drugs in the past 12th months, but a leveling off as the election approaches. (Note politico-sidereal similarities between the nation’s top two addictions – drugs and gasoline.)

Things will get worse after Election Day when Medicare Part D begins a new enrollment period, with penalties for latecomers to the system and the likelihood that more insurance plans will bow out of the system, citing inability to gouge older people even more.

Sure, there are solutions to the lousy rankings on mortality, quality, efficiency and cost. But they, too, will have to wait until after Election Day.

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