“The U.S. has two health care systems. For Americans with the means and insurance to have a regular doctor and reported experiences with their day-to-day care are relatively good, but for those who lack access, the consequences are stark,” Schneider said.
As I’ve mentioned here before, half of America — the poor and retirees — are already on Medicare/Medicaid. The private system is held afloat by the middle and upper class. The emerging problem is that the middle class is being squeezed out of existence by wealth inequality. Not too long from now, the split between private and government insurance will tip to 40/60, and the 60% is going to vote people into Congress to get access to what the 40% still have.
The poor performance is nothing new, as the U.S. has landed in last place in all seven studies the Commonwealth Fund has released since 2004.
The really stupid thing about this situation is that we’ve known this bad system has been producing bad outcomes for decades, and the one thing we’ve thrown at it (the Affordable Care Act) only seems to have worsened the disparity.
Maybe there’s no fixing it. Besides Bernie Sanders and maybe AOC, no one is talking seriously about reform. Maybe there’s so much money being thrown at Congress by Big Pharma and Big Insurance that they’ll never be able to mount a voting block large enough to do something about it.