Health Care A 'Dysfunctional Mess'
CHICAGO (AP) -- The U.S. health care system is "a dysfunctional mess" and politicians who insist otherwise look ignorant, according to a medical journal essay by a prominent ethicist at the National Institutes of Health.
"If a politician declares that the United States has the best health care system in the world today, he or she looks clueless rather than patriotic or authoritative," Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel wrote in Wednesday's Journal of the American Medical Association.
Emanuel, who supports sweeping health care reform, said the U.S. spends $6,000 per person per year on health care, an amount that is more than 16 percent of the nation's gross domestic product and more than any other country.
He also said Americans' average life expectancy ranks 45th in the world, behind Bosnia and Jordan. And the U.S. infant death rate is 6.37 per 1,000 live births, higher than that of most developed nations.
American life expectancy is lower than Bosnia, a country wracked by war, ethnic cleansing and political anarchy? What a comment on our health care system! It's the most expensive in the world, but it can't keep us alive longer than residents of a Third World hell-hole nation.
The reason is simple: the American Medical Association and the U.S. pharmaceutical industry are sacred cows immune to being held accountable by Congress. We need universal health care and medical price controls, but we'll never get them as long as lobbyists for those two organizations are allowed to bribe members of Congress with massive political contributions.
Hillary Clinton was practically crucified when she proposed a universal health care system during the Clinton administration. The Bush administration has done nothing but scream about the bogeyman of "socialized medicine" while medical costs spiraled out of sight and 42 million Americans were forced to live without any health insurance at all.
When will this madness end? When the federal treasury is bankrupted by a corrupt and incompetent medical profession?
"The earth was made round so we can't see too far down the road and know what is coming." -- Isak Dinesen, Out of Africa