Arguments to maintain the current abusive health care system seem to make sense until you actually think about them. My favorite is the one about long waits to see a doctor. In countries that have real health care systems, everyone is covered automatically. In this country, nearly 50 million people are effectively shut out of the system. These people are forced to wait until they die or end up in an emergency room. Having this many people outside of the system does cut down considerably on the wait time for those who have some form of health coverage. I wonder, is this shortcut to the head of the line for those lucky enough to get it morally justifiable? What would Jesus think of it? One could logically question why this is even legal.
Another is the "best in the world" nonsense that conservative commentators and congressional talking heads like to parrot incessantly. According to the CIA fact book, of the 30 richest countries in the world, a 60-year-old man living in the U.S. comes up 23rd in life expectancy. Infant mortality fares even worse at 24th. In under-five childhood mortality we do even worse, coming up 28th, barely ahead of Mexico and Turkey. In overall life expectancy, we rank 50th in the world.
The world health organization and the Congressional Research Service tell us we pay more for these dismal results than anyone else in the world. U.S. health care spending was 15.3 percent of the economy compared to 8.9 percent, the average cost for developed countries - for Canada, it was 9.9 percent; Britain, 8.1 percent ;and Japan, 8.0 percent. Yet WHO ranks America 37th overall, behind such heavyweights as Iceland, Colombia and Costa Rica and about equal to Slovenia and Cuba.
Why are we paying so much more for so much less? Because corporate profits are considered more important within the current health care structure than the health and quality of life of the people the system should be designed to protect. Lobbyists and pseudo-news commentators work diligently to spread fear and lies about any proposed reform. For much better results, Britain spends just slightly more than half what we pay. One might wonder where the other half of this money is going.
It's undoubtedly expensive flying insurance executives and lobbyists all over the country in plush corporate jets to strategy sessions to keep us paying so much for so little.