Roots of US Health Care Crisis ("Etiology")
Now let’s be realistic - $1.8 trillion dollars worth of entrenched vested “industrial” interests are not exactly ready to roll over easily but several dynamics favor change- yesterday. Public opinion polls increasingly demonstrate the political importance of health care and health care costs to American voters. Some say, after the general economy and the war in Iraq it is the number #3 political issue in 2006. Politicians like to get elected and re-elected. They are listening despite obscene funding and relentless lobbying by the “Disease Care” Industry. Secondly we simply cannot as a nation afford to spend close to 15 % of our GNP on health care and significantly more on a per-capita basis per US citizen (@$5300 dollars per person -almost two and a half times the industrialized world’ median of @ $2,200 dollars) than any peer industrialized nation and expect to maintain the US quality of life we have come to enjoy “duh”.Yet, despite these excessive expenditures, quality of health care as measured by a host of objective measurements is declining? What’s wrong with that picture? “double duh” Finally, being a country founded on Judea-Christian ethics, the ethical and moral depravity that the US health care industry now manifests is incompatible with our nation even pretending to exhibit moral leadership as “a beacon to other nations”. The US remains the only nation among nations in the developed world (except for South Africa) that does not provide some level of health care for all its citizens. These three dynamics make change both inevitable and imminent! The question I keep asking myself is do we need a total system meltdown and collapse before a new US health care system arises? Or in other words “I never underestimate the self-destructiveness of institutions entrenched in the status quo”. On this latter observation I sincerely hope I am wrong.