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The Problem with Healthcare in America

When you look at this country compared to other developed countries, there’s something that stands out very quickly. We spend on a per-person basis, much more money on medical care than anybody in the world. Yet despite how much we spend, we don’t get good bang for our buck in health outcomes. Our life expectancy is 40 something-th in the world, and slipping. One of the most interesting things to compare us to other countries is how much we spend on a per capita basis on social benefits. When you add what we spend on healthcare to what we spend on social benefits, we’re no longer the big spender in the world. We’re in fact, somewhere in the middle of the pact when it comes to developed countries. And what we have learned is that those countries that spend more on social benefits and less relatively, on healthcare, have better health. Those expenditures on social benefits are what constitutes the social compact. Those are the things that civilized societies spend money on to anticipate people’s needs so they don’t fall off inevitable cliffs. In this country, we unfortunately too often wait for people to fall off the cliff. And then we try to bandage them up at the bottom of the cliff. We can do better than that. We know more, we need to do more.

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