The Intrinsic Problem Of American Healthcare

Posted by on Feb 18, 2011

Healthcare, as it is want to do, came up as one of my topics on the Fox Business Network last night.

I think we can all agree that no healthcare system in the world is perfect. On a philosophical level, I’m sure that most of us can agree that a mark of a modern civilized society is one where everyone can afford to call an ambulance. Especially in the world’s richest countries.

The question of course is, how is this paid for? It is an incredibly tricky situation where one must balance what is right with what is possible. Massachusetts residents have been in the news as they face potentially devastating tax increases in the coming years to pay health insurance benefits for municipal employees. The situation there is mirrored across the nation.

Root and branch reform is required of the American healthcare system. Obama did what he could with a level of legislation that has not been seen since the Johnson era – but will it be enough? From the research I’ve done the most expensive insurance I’ve found in the UK for someone with a pre-existing condition is around $5000 (and of course they can opt to just go with the NHS, for nothing at all). In the US many people find themselves paying upwards of $12,000 a year and that’s with no pre-existing conditions at all.

It took a disaster of the magnitude of World War 2 to give the UK its healthcare system. Washington, with its special interest groups and partisan politics, makes fundamental reform very difficult, yet over the next few decades American healthcare is a ticking timebomb. Nobody knows what the answer is, but all indications suggest that at some point everyone will have to work together to find one.