But these are the most important points.
- Our health care system is not working. Our life expectancy is much lower than other developed countries, about 43rd, and a recent article in Smithsonian Magazine covers work that projects that it will drop another 21 places by 2040, to 64! Other measures of access to care and quality of care are comparably poor. Yes, there are heroic and wonderful things that medical care can do for people, but if these are not accessible to everyone, and if the cost of them precludes spending on even basic care for everyone, it is not working.
- Our health care system is incredibly costly. By far, we spend more, overall, as % of GDP, and per capita, than any country in the world, as illustrated by the graph from the Kaiser Family Foundation. It is more than twice as much as most of the developed countries, all of which have far better health status.
- Profit is the problem. Specifically, corporate profit made from providing health care services (or, in the case of insurance companies, not providing health care). This is how we manage to do both #1 and #2 – because the functional goal of the US health system is not to increase the population’s health but to make as much money as possible for insurers, hospitals, drug companies, and providers.
- · Everybody in, nobody out!
- · No profiteering!