With more than seventy-five million Americans going without health care, it is tough to imagine how a health care system could perform more poorly. It is increasingly difficult to justify the private health care and health insurance system that exists in the U.S. The U.S. regularly spends significantly more, per capita, on health care than any other industrialized country. It is time that we take a look at what other countries are doing right and wrong in terms of health policy. Our current health care scheme is clearly not sustainable and is negatively affecting the lives of millions of Americans. When millions of Americans are declaring bankruptcy as a result of health care bills, it is clearly time for a significant change.
One important thing that must be addressed is that there will be no perfect policy to address the health care needs of everyone. This issue must not be left to politicians who are largely out of touch with successful social policy. We must learn the lessons that the successes and failures that other countries have faced, and use that information to create a coherent policy that can work for the U.S. It is difficult to imagine a significant new policy coming about at a time when public well-being is up against billion dollar industries. While most Americans would benefit more from nearly any other health policy, many will continue to be fooled into voting against their interests. Those in power are quite skillful at using wedge issues to crush real attempts at meaningful reform.