Yes, health care is a matter of security. We really have two problems here. First, circa 2018 the American health care system is mediocre compared to other developed countries. But we are paying twice as much for the same quality of care. Second, while overpaying is a serious problem that affects Americans’ prosperity, it is nothing compared to the coming complete failure of our system. Crushed by the 75 million aging baby boomers, our much overtaxed health care system will become a risk to our personal and national security.
With respect to the outrageous costs, the pharmaceutical and insurance companies and some providers are combining to double our costs compared to those in other industrialized countries. Please see the excellent portrayal of the problem from National Geographic:
For additional more recent analyses, see NPR’s excellent coverage of this issue. So why is the cost in the U.S. so much higher without showing better outcomes? Where does the extra money go? The extra four or five thousand dollars we are spending per person is going to the shareholders of the large companies. My comments regarding Empowering People are relevant here.
Despite all the machinations on Capitol Hill over the repeal of Obama Care, the only answer that best serves Americans’ security and prosperity is a move in the direction of universal coverage probably using a single-payer approach. Home care and extended-family interdependence will also be aspects of getting through the next two decades. There will be bureaucratic chaos and unfortunate deaths along the way. But circa 2030 universal care will deliver universal security in this vital area.
Fellow Independent Bernie Sanders has outlined perhaps the best path to universal/single payer health care. He calls it “Medicare for All.” He describes an ambitious four-year plan:
The transition to the Medicare for All program would take place over four years. In the first year, benefits to older people would be expanded to include dental care, vision coverage and hearing aids, and the eligibility age for Medicare would be lowered to 55. All children under the age of 18 would also be covered. In the second year, the eligibility age would be lowered to 45 and in the third year to 35. By the fourth year, every man, woman and child in the country would be covered by Medicare for All.