Sicker, and more expensive, by the minute

It may come as no surprise to anyone who’s recently had to deal with the U.S. health-care system, but service isn’t always what it ought to be. And it’s expensive. That’s why Americans routinely rank it one of the nation’s top problems in need of a solution.

But a new study by the New York-based Commonwealth Fund, a private foundation supporting research and improvements in health-care policy and practice, suggests that we’re in even worse shape than you might think. According to a report released May 15, the U.S. health-care system is dead last in quality and value when stacked up against similarly industrialized, wealthy countries. The countries were ranked by quality of care, access to health care, efficiency, equity and healthiness of citizens.

The Commonwealth Fund’s rankings: