As they spoke in Corvallis last Saturday, Drs. Arnold Relman and Marcia Angell, former Editors in Chief of the New England Journal of Medicine, provided insight into our uniquely American system. Healthcare in the US costs twice as much per capita as that of other countries: we overuse expensive high-tech medical procedures, we do not demand that our governments bargain for price with the healthcare industry, and we tolerate a 10-30% administrative overhead to accommodate the private insurance industry.
We do not address the primary care needs of our people and they come to the hospital in crisis. Many cannot pay their bills. We as a society have not yet decided that healthcare is a public good that can keep our people and workforce healthy and avoid the suffering and financial hardship for individuals and the hospital.
Healthcare, like education and fire/police protection, is a public good, not a commodity. Join HealthCareforAll-Oregon and help spread the word.