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U.S. Healthcare: High Prices, Low Value

How would you rate health-care in America?

  • Gregory
    Voted Sad

    It's ridiculous that we as a nation cannot provide adequate healthcare for our citizens. It's terrible that many people can't switch jobs or start a new business because they have to remain at their current job to maintain health insurance or that people have to beg for money to cover healthcare expenses through vehicles like Go Fund Me. 

  • Kenneth

    Potentially unpopular opinioning time. 

    While I agree the state of healhcare in America has declined and there, unarguably, is some business greed associated with it, that is not the primary issue and expanding government's role in healthcare pricing and provision is 100% NOT the solution.


    From my personal life experience, two points in particular are worth challenging:

    1)  "That’s one-third of an average family's hard-earned income, all for a service that's provided free of charge in numerous other nations."  First of all nothing is "free of charge."  Everything costs money.  The only question is who pays.  In this case, "free" means someone else is paying - these days it's another taxpayer.  The phrase "the only way someone gets something for nothing is when someone else is getting nothing for something" applies here.  Having lived in a European country for a couple of a years, having a child there (as well as in the US, so I can compare), and experiencing "free" healthcare, there is no comparison to the US's (then) private system for quality, availability of care, and cost.  Where I lived had high taxes (to fund the "free healthcare") and long wait times to get, relative to the US, fairly poor quality care.  That care was also rationed, so people who needed care either could not get it ("you're not sick enough or in enough pain") or they had to go to the, thriving, private market as an alternative.  It's always amazing how capitalist models seem to fill in the inevitable gaps left by government-run programs.


    2)  While I agree there is waste in the big pharma model, there is waste in all large corporate models.  I also agree that pharma direct-to-consumer (DTC) marketing is a practice that is both wrong and takes far too much of a pharma company's budget, especially given that the user of the script is not the actual customer,  The prescribing doc is.  Advertising to someone who has no medical credentials seems pretty wrong to me, even if it is legal.  Having said all that, there are many, many smaller pharma companies that are doing much needed research and workign to bring great meds to patients who need them.  Our market has shown repeatedly that, with some common sense controls (no, I don't think uncontrolled capitalism is 100% the answer all the time), market forces do a better job of allocating scarce resources in a way that balances access with available capital for what is always a highly speculative investment (+95% of researched therapies never make it to market).  Yes, use government to restrict pharma DTC advertising.  That'll save a ton of money that can be used for R&D investment, but keep the government out of pricing discussions, but ensure people are aware of what their healthcare actually costs.  Again, I point to my time in Europe where care was rationed and part of that rationing was (and still is) access to needed drugs.  With the government actively involved in price setting (let's call it what it really is), we'll get not only less access to needed therapies now, but reduced investment in future therapies.


    Let's all play the long game and enhance what our culture and economy do well and augment where we struggle.

  • Popcorn
    Voted Apathetic
    last Tuesday

    Our healthcare is OK for most people but not all. The cost is out of control at this point. We need to change healthcare for the better. But need to make sure changes don't make it worse or more expensive like past legislation has done.

  • John
    Voted Sad

    Healthcare in America should be a non profit industry. That does not mean a socialist program!

    Pay doctors, nurses and staff what they get. Pay all the other bills it takes to run a hospital. All profits should go back to the hospital to increase care and expand treatments. Not go to some shareholder that has nothing to do with day to day operartions.

    There are boards of directors in hospitals in America now that do not have a doctor or a nurse on the board. They are pure profit driven making us customers not patients. 

  • Jeanne
    Voted Sad

    Insurance companies and Pharmaceutical companies now control American healthcare. Doctors are simply order takers for some drug or device or surgical procedure. Americans should be, must be, their own advocates and be given the ability to become well informed so as to make the right health care decisions in partnership with their doctors.