Mt. Vernon Register-News

Opinion

December 3, 2013

When will politicians get it?

I am going to start this column with some simple statements and a few questions to ponder.

Developed industrial nations have universal health care for their citizens. They also, in many instances, have better outcomes as measured by global organizations.

The World Health Organization and Commonwealth rank us much lower in quality than other nations in a lot of categories. Some of the important categories, such as life expectancy, infant mortality, etc. are ranked lower. The goal of the Affordable Care Act was to provide health care for millions of folks without insurance.

Let’s really put this in language that we all can understand. The cost of health care has reportedly increased over 120 percent during the last decade with inflation increases reported to be less than 40 percent and wage increases below 30 percent. Wonder why health care dominates the news these days? Recent reports state that the cost per capita in the United States is $8,500 per annum with other industrialized countries at $3,800 to $4,400.

When will we wake up and realize that we pay almost double all other developed nations and results in some instances are not as good. We have a problem that can only be solved with huge reductions in cost and continuing improved quality. Other industries understand this.

We reportedly pay much higher drug prices for drugs under Medicare D (drugs for seniors) than other developed nations and get this; reportedly some of the drugs are manufactured in the same location — plant — with a higher price for the United States. Why?

I am going to make this the shortest column I have written with a question and maybe a short summation. Why do our political leaders, regardless of party affiliation, not realize that the problem is we cannot afford to pay double other countries without destruction of the middle class?

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