It’s astonishing how far the controversy on healthcare has moved within the US, at least for the Democrats. Not long ago providing universal, government-funded healthcare was considered as tantamount to communism; now, it’s a touchstone of many presidential hopefuls. Not before time. The US healthcare system is a monument to perverse incentives, unintended consequences, and political inertia.
It’s astonishingly bad. Certainly, it’s so surprisingly bad that even individuals who consider it’s bad don’t appreciate quite how bad it is. I don’t say this out of any great devotion to the UK different. The National Health Service works nicely sufficient for a vast tax-funded bureaucracy. However, it may work better if we didn’t view any try at reform as the desecration of a holy institution. Nor do I’ve bad experiences of US healthcare. My daughter was born in America, where my family had sensitive and expert medical care. However, that’s what you’d count on with a good health insurance plan something that many Americans don’t have.
Around 27m folks — 10% of the non-elderly US population have no insurance in any respect. That’s precarious, given that a severe sickness or accident may incur bankruptcy-inducing costs. But the astonishingly large number of folks living on the edge is still progress: before the passage of the Affordable Care Act under President Barack Obama, the figure was closer to 45m individuals.
It’s this lack of anything resembling universal access that appears most grotesque to observers from other rich nations. But it’s just the start of the costs that the US health system imposes on Americans.