J.K.Logic Wrote: And we don't even have universal healthcare, just a patchwork system of programs to help Americans get health insurance access and discounts and coverage and whatnot. So why do we continue to operate like this? If it's so obvious we are spending more and getting far less, why can't we have a serious conversation about universal healthcare, as other countries employing it are having better results across the board than us?
This question has baffled me before, during, and after I wrote my college thesis paper on this topic. We spend more money per person than any other country in the world yet have some of the lowest rankings of access to care and affordability than any other industrialized country in the world.
I hate to bring politics into this discussion, but it's impossible to ignore politics when it's so intertwined in the discussion. Our government made a very deliberate choice to operate a for profit healthcare system decades ago and chose to have a system where healthcare wasn't a right, but a privilege.
Obamacare did help alleviate some of these issues by mandating that insurance companies couldn't deny someone simply because they had a preexisting condition, but there wasn't enough votes to pass what President Obama stated he wanted, which was the public option. (Obama later even went further and said that he would have loved to have a single-payer system similar to the rest of the industrialized world, but knew that idea was dead on arrival in Congress.)
What Obamacare didn't do very well was tackle costs of services. An MRI in one hospital may cost $500 while an MRI in another hospital in the same city may cost $1,500. The list goes on and on (and on). If we really want to fix the healthcare system we have to start with cost control, but that just isn't politically possible right now.
Then we need to begin an attempt to change the hearts and minds of voters. "Medicare for All" polls a heck of a lot better than "Socialized Healthcare," but a lot of people don't understand that they are the same exact thing.