“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.
Source: Stunning new report ranks US dead last in health care among richest countries—despite spending the most | TheHill
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.
A screenshot of a months-old Reddit comment about the cost of cancer care spread across social media platforms.
Source: ‘My Wife Has Cancer’ Reddit Comment Spreads Virally, Prompts…
Whether the original post is true or not, most of us know someone who has been wracked with medical expenses. I, myself, have had around $15K of uncovered medical expenses in the past few years, not counting the out-of-pocket limits before “benefits” kick in. I can afford this, if only barely. However, the larger and inescapable truth in this country is that the vast majority of us are one cancer diagnosis away from total financial ruin.
I still think that the right way to fix the health care industry in a “capitalistic” system is to regulate the health insurance industry the same way we do car insurance. But the health insurance companies aren’t going to allow themselves to be pressured by the market, and will make sure that Congress does not change the status quo. They are quite content to let the current system continue its decline until it becomes impossible NOT to nationalize it. In my estimation, Big Insurance (like Anthem, Centene, United, and Humana) are all jockeying to get a bigger slice of the pie when the government finally steps in and makes them a department of the Executive branch.