A long way to go on health reform
By Umang Malhotra
Friday, April 15, 2011 at midnight
The American health care system has been leaking like an old car for decades. Congress, in the search for a universal solution, is using a piecemeal or duct tape approach to stop the leaks. Our lawmakers bemoan the expense, while using the most cost-ineffective solution.
The system is undeniably broken. By reputable measurements, America ranks first in obesity, 27th in life expectancy, 37th in infant mortality and 54th in access to health care (tied with Fiji). CIA World Factbook figures are even worse. Despite the U.S. spending twice what the next affluent country spends per person, all international comparisons show that America lies near the bottom on health care. According to AARP data, it also lags far behind other countries in long-term care for seniors. Nearly 50 million people in the U.S. are uninsured; millions are underinsured, and more than half the personal bankruptcies – over 1 million a year – are caused by medical bills, something unheard of elsewhere.