Wednesday, December 27, 2006

The American healthcare system is, simply put, a mess, but we may finally be ready to fix it.

EZRA KLEIN at the December26, 2006
THE STATISTICS, by now, are well known. Forty-seven million uninsured Americans. Premium increases of 81% since 2000. Small businesses failing, big businesses foundering, individuals priced out and, amid all this, skyrocketing profits for insurers, hospitals and pharmaceutical manufacturers.

The American health system, put simply, is a mess. An expensive one. Indeed, in 2002, we spent $5,267 per capita on healthcare — $1,821 more than Switzerland, the nearest runner-up. And yet we had higher infant mortality, lower life expectancy, more price inflation and an actual uninsured population, a phenomenon virtually unknown in the rest of the developed world, where universal healthcare is, well, universal.

The realization that our illogical, mistaken healthcare system can't go on forever has dawned, and so it will end. The question now is what replaces it. Continue reading ...


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