T.R. Reid’s book “The Healing of America” compares our non-system of health care with other countries solutions. In a recent interview he noted:
In coverage, against all the countries like us, we’re the worst. There’s no other country that lets people go without health insurance. Quality on comparative measures…we rank pretty low among the rich countries. We’re better than the poor countries, but compared to Britain, Germany, Japan we rank pretty low on health outcomes. Cost–we’re the highest by far. We pay twice as much per capita for health care and still leave 31 million people without coverage.
The first thing we need to do is make a moral commitment to cover everybody and we’ve never done that. It doesn’t have to be socialized medicine. Germany covers everybody with private insurance, private doctors and private hospitals and they still spend much less than we do. We could do it through government, we could do it through private insurance, but you need to commit to cover everybody and once we do that we’ll get it done.
Medicynical Note: The question is why don’t we formally commit to cover everybody. We, the government, already cover all people over 65, those who are disabled, some of the poor, the military and their retirees, government employees—probably half the country.
Meanwhile health care costs spiral. Drug companies gouge the sick and infirm. Insurers make certain to get their 20%. An no-one really really is interested in curbing costs. It’s amazing what we tolerate.