I watched Escape Fire: The Fight to Rescue American Healthcare the other night, a documentary on healthcare that was a 2012 Sundance Film Festival Winner. The film doesn't offer any revolutionary ideas but it’s very well done and gives the viewer an excellent picture of the challenges facing the U.S. healthcare system. It’s also pretty entertaining. The film's title was inspired by the Mann Gulch forest fire in Montana back in the 1940's -- a super interesting story in its own right.
The film also does a great job of laying out some interesting and powerful healthcare related statistics. I thought I’d capture some of them here:
- The cost of healthcare is expected to hit $4.2 trillion annually within the next four years (20% of our GDP)
- 20% of patients account for 80% of healthcare costs
- 75% of healthcare costs are caused by preventable illnesses
- Average cost of healthcare in the U.S. = $8,000 per person; versus $3,000 in other developed nations
- There are only two countries that allow pharmaceutical companies to advertise directly to consumers: New Zealand and the United States
- Since 2000, premiums for employer health plans have risen at 4x the rate of inflation
- Smoking is responsible for 1 in 5 deaths in the U.S.
If you're interested in the U.S. healthcare system and where it's heading I highly recommend checking out Escape Fire.