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U.S. health care’s telling numbers

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Rank of the United States among other industrial nations in percentage uninsured: 1

Rank among other nations in cost of health care per person: 1

Percentage of health-care dollars spent on administrative overhead in the United States: 31

Percentage of health-care dollars spent on administrative overhead in Canada: 17

Number of developed countries ranked as having better outcomes than the United States in infant mortality, low-birth-weight babies and life expectancy, respectively: 10, 28, 5

Percentage of U.S. population in 2002-03 without insurance: 15

Percentage of uninsured who were children: 33

Average percent increase in dermatologists’ salaries during 2003: 17

Average percent increase in general surgeons’ salaries during 2003: 0.33

HMO enrollment in 1970 and 2003, respectively: 3 million, more than 70 million

Number of HMOs in the United States in 1970 and 2003, respectively: 37 and 454

Record number of HMOs in the United States: 703 (in 1987)

Percentage of U.S. doctors who say they have not told patients about a treatment because their insurance doesn’t cover it: 31

Amount by which the number of U.S. deaths in 2000 from lack of medical insurance exceeded those from AIDS: 967

Number of hospitals in the U.S. in 1980 and 2000, respectively: 6,965, 5,810

Percentage of Americans in a 2004 national poll who said they would prefer a universal health-care system to the current one: 62

Average public school teachers’ pay in 2003-04: $47,000

Average primary care physicians’ pay in 2003: $150,000

Average heart surgeons’ pay in 2003: $400,000

Average NBA player’s salary: $4 million

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