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US healthcare system lags other countries on quality, access

Los Angeles Times, October 19, 2011

The U.S. healthcare system is lagging further and further behind other industrialized countries on major measures of quality, efficiency and access to care, according to a new report from the nonprofit Commonwealth Fund, a leading health policy foundation. That is having a profound effect on overall health in the U.S., the report found. Americans die far more frequently than their counterparts in other countries as a result of preventable or treatable conditions, such as bacterial infections, screenable cancers, diabetes and complications from surgery. In 2006-07, the U.S. recorded 96 preventable deaths per 100,000 people. By comparison, France, with the best performing healthcare system, recorded just 55 deaths per 100,000.