America's Sick Health Care System

Alone among industrialized nations, the United States lacks a national health insurance system. Forty million Americans lack any form of health insurance; many more face losing their job-linked coverage in company layoffs. Meanwhile, US annual spending for health care totals $4,600 per capita, over twice the average of other industrial countries. Health care expenditure totals a world-leading 14% of GDP stands, for a grand total of $1.3 trillion--and rising.

According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), despite this colossal spending, America lags behind Japan and several European countries in standard measures of health: infant mortality, life expectancy at birth, and deaths that could have been prevented by appropriate medical care. The US spends more and gets less, and all indications suggest that the perverse economics of American health care will continue more or less unchanged indefinitely.

The reason is that the losers in this system tend to be poor, politically unorganized, and inarticulate, while their more fortunate fellow citizens are insured for the costs of treatment and reap the benefits of the high-tech excellence for which American medicine is renowned.

To continue reading, please log in or enter your email address.

To access our archive, please log in or register now and read two articles from our archive every month for free. For unlimited access to our archive, as well as to the unrivaled analysis of PS On Point, subscribe now.

required

By proceeding, you agree to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy, which describes the personal data we collect and how we use it.

Log in

http://prosyn.org/HQKSjYQ;

Cookies and Privacy

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. To find out more, read our updated cookie policy and privacy policy.