Making America Healthy Again
The U.S. pays more for health care than any other country yet has shamefully poor results. People are paying through the nose for their hospital stays, surgeries and prescription drugs. An MRI in the U.S. costs five times what it costs in Australia. Instead of quality affordable health care we are building absurdly expensive F-35s, submarines and aircraft carriers. And there is a cool $ trillion for nuclear weapons. Our spending priorities are upside down. Every other industrialized country has universal health care. Since the 1970s surveys have shown most people in the U.S. want a single-payer, universal health care program. But Washington says: That’s off the table. So even though the public wants it, our so-called representatives, except for Bernie Sanders and a few others, are not considering it. Maybe we should look to Slovenia for inspiration.
Dr. Stephen Bezruchka is on the faculty of the Department of Health Systems and Population Health at the University of Washington. He worked for many years as an emergency physician in Seattle. He worked in Nepal for more than a decade where he helped set up a community health project a week’s walk from the road. He also established a remote district hospital for training Nepali doctors whom he supervised. He is the author of Inequality Kills Us All: COVID-19’s Health Lessons for the World.