Finally, a mainstream news source that is reporting on how the US compares with other developed nations vis-à-vis health care! Ali Velshi, relatively new to NBC News, has begun bashing long-time American myths about health care, and he promises to continue doing so. This is vitally important: we Americans need to know not only the problems with “repeal and replace” of Obamacare and the arguments of the Republicans and Democrats, but also how other wealthy nations offer health care to their citizens.
As I have offered a number of times from a non-expert perspective on comparative health care (in posts on the common good, workfare versus welfare, making millions, and stress), Velshi, who is Canadian so knows what he’s talking about, made the following points just a few days ago:
- A functional free market health insurance system, the conservative mantra, does not exist on earth.
- “[I]n all those countries, all the developed countries that have single-payer systems or Universal Healthcare, happiness about healthcare is actually substantially greater than it is in the United States.”
- People in those other nations do not flock to the US for their health care.
- Life expectancy in those other countries is higher than in the US. This means that the results of their systems are better than our results.
In his segment on March 16, Velshi made further crucial points, using OECD statistics from 2015:
- Out of 11 nations surveyed, the US is last in equity, healthy lives and efficiency with their national health care systems.
- On quality of care, we are 5th out of 11.
- On access to care, we are 9th out of 11.
- On health care outcomes, we are last. Britain is first, Switzerland is Number 2, and Sweden is third.
- “The success or failure of a healthcare system is measure based on staying alive. Again the United States is dead last. Canada, whose system many Republicans malign, is the most effective of the eleven developed countries.”
- As for cost per person? Our cost is now a whopping $9,481. The average cost per person among developed nations is only $3,814. This statistic truly exposes the Republicans’ lies; if they are really interested in cost efficiency, universal health care – no matter what the exact method is – is significantly more cost effective than any system we have had in the US.
It is also noteworthy that Velshi has extensive business and economics expertise. He knows whereof he speaks on many complex issues. He should be listened to by the American public – and other news outlets should be following MSNBC’s lead in bashing American myths on issues vital to all of us.