As the far right try again to override the public will expressed in elections and government actions democratically instituting "Obamacare," they sing the old song: Why mess with the best health care system in the world?
Well, this "best" is a myth we'd best debunk, along with other myths like our vaunted upward mobility (not so much compared with many nations). We're No. 1 in health care mainly in how much we spend: 17 percent of GDP -- about 40 percent more than the nearest competitor, Switzerland, with other Euro nations at 10 to 13 percent of GDP. And bang for our buck? Not so much. A Bloomberg study comparing health-systems as to efficiency (a function of cost and life expectancy) ranks us at 30.8 percent --- lower than Japan (74.1 percent), Spain (68.3 percent), Italy (66.1 percent), Sweden (62.6 percent), even Canada (53.4 percent).
These nations, along with many other developed nations, all get relatively good health care value for their yen, pesos, dollars. And they cover everybody! What else do they have in common? No, they're not generally "socialist" countries, but all do feature strong central government control of their health care systems.
So, recognizing that our system fails in its ability to provide care for all, we might do well to keep and improve the Affordable Care Act, which, while certainly not a "socialist" scheme, does begin to institute some measure of central control over our not-so-very-efficient "free-market" health care system.
Stan Fischer, Hiram