There are several factors that need to be addressed relating to the broken health care system in the USA.
1) It is bankrupting the government
2) It is severely handicapping business that must pay for the expensive and poorly performing system
3) It is bankrupting individuals (Employees Face Soaring Health Insurance Costs)
4) It is hampering economic freedom due to the model that ties health care to employment. If I want to go start my own small business, I not only have to worry about all the risks of running a business I have to risk my heath coverage (coverage is expensive and if you get sick you can be dropped, or rates increased so dramatically that they are not affordable – hardly insurance when you are dropped when you need it).
5) social inequity – no other rich country denies basic health care to everyone
6) the results are poor to mediocre (at by far the highest cost of any country)
The idea that a system that is far more expensive than any in the world and performs, at best, in the middle of the pack of rich countries while creating huge economic and human hardships should not be reformed is crazy. Unless you believe the USA is just incapable of performing even at a mediocre level in health care, for some reason, you have to believe they current performance needs to be dramatically improved.
Now there may well be disagreement about which failures are most important. Some may not care about the huge competitive disadvantage companies are put in by the current broken system. Others may not care that millions don’t have basic coverage. Others may not care that sick people go bankrupt. Others may not care that the heath results are mediocre at best – that tens of millions have much less healthy lives than they would. Others may like that they make a great deal of money from the current system. Others may like that they personally get good health care. So in what ways the broken system in place now needs to be fixed is open for debate.
The long term result is very simple to see. The current system is very broken and will not work. Different people suffer differently depending on what solution is adopted. My desire would be to reduce spending on hugely expensive miracle cures (especially for terminal ill patients) and increase spending dramatically on preventative and healthy living (versus spending on managing sickness) but I can see that such a solution is not at all popular. So we are not going to adopt that part of what I would like to see.
But I have no doubt the system will be dramatically reformed. Because if not the economic costs will destroy the economic future of the country. I don’t believe tens of millions without health care will drive action – we have seen that we are perfectly willing to allow that to continue. If the economic costs (say reducing the economic benefit to every person in the USA by $5,000 a year) just stayed at that level, it seems those that are benefiting from the current system are able to hold off improvement. But that figure is increasing each and every year. Eventually the costs grow too large and too many people will demand the broken system be improved.