Based on my personal and professional experiences, I have grown very familiar with the U.S. healthcare system – both its strengths and its shortcomings.
Last summer, I also read T.R. Reid’s book The Healing of America: A Global Quest for Better, Cheaper, and Fairer Health Care. Published in 2008, this book is still relevant in its comparison of U.S. healthcare to those of successful systems around the world. I learned that of all the developed nations, the U.S. is the only country that does not offer universal healthcare in some form. The wealthiest of all the affluent nations, only we have chosen not to define healthcare as a fundamental human right.
In fact, the U.S. has become rather well-known for its ailing healthcare system. Despite spending far more money on healthcare than other developed countries, it ranks the lowest in effectiveness. A 2018 study comparing the U.S. health system to those of the 10 highest-income countries showed that the U.S. ranked last or almost-last in four of the five performance measures: Access, administrative efficiency, equity, and healthcare outcomes. In the remaining category, care process, the U.S. ranked fifth. These scores reflect a dire need for healthcare reform within the U.S.