Wednesday, January 09, 2019

The U.S. Health Care System Is Broken & Needs Big Changes

The charts above are from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. They show that health care in the United States costs more than twice the cost of other economically-developed countries.

The reasons are numerous -- doctors and hospitals cost more even though there are fewer doctors per 1,000 people in the U.S., and drug prices are much higher in the U.S. than in the other countries (who are able to negotiate with the drug companies).

This is inexcusable. There is no legitimate reason why the cost of health care should be so much higher in the United States -- especially considering those other economically-developed countries provide heal care for all of their citizens and the United States has millions of people with no health insurance (leaving them without access to extremely important preventative care).

The Republicans, and far too many elected Democrats, seem to think our broken systems can be fixed with just some tinkering around the edges. They are wrong.

The United States needs to adopt a government-run single-payer health care system -- something like a Medicare-For-All system. Such a system would not only be able to cover all citizens with health insurance, but would also be able to control medical costs.

* That system would be able to negotiate costs with doctors, hospitals, and other providers.

* That system would be able to negotiate drug costs with drug producers.

* That system would cut out the expensive overhead and profit margin currently enjoyed by private insurance companies.

Unfortunately, though that system is needed, it is not supported by most of our elected officials. That's not just because of lobbying by the medical and drug industries, but also because not a big enough percentage of the U.S. population supports such a change.

Americans need to be educated. I believe a Medicare-For-All system will come to this country some day (when our broken system gets even worse). But it could come faster if we educate Americans on the need for change and the value of a single-payer system.

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