The World Health Organization ranks the US 35th in healthcare outcomes – far below almost every universal healthcare system in the world (we barely edge out Cuba). For such lousy healthcare, and considering all costs (premiums, taxes, co-pays, etc.), we pay twice what they pay. They cover everyone, but we still have 28 million totally uninsured, plus tens of millions under-insured, with whopping deductibles that often financially devastate the “insured.” Kaiser Family Foundation estimates one million American bankruptcies every year caused by medical expenses. Find me just one in universal healthcare countries.
Don’t take it from me, do your own research! We limp along with the Affordable Healthcare Act – the butchered remains of worthy efforts for American universal healthcare, after insurance lobbyists and handsomely-reimbursed congressmen finished hacking away at it. In smoke-filled back rooms, insurance companies got major concessions for uncontrolled premium costs. In exchange we got coverage for 20 million more of us, extended protection for debt-soaked college students, and no pre-existing conditions. Was it worth it? Well, costs had been climbing at the same rate for decades anyway.
But until we finally insist on our own universal healthcare system, there are still things that Colorado can do. Senate candidate Guinn Unger suggests requiring all healthcare insurance companies selling in Colorado to sell in every county, for the same price. Such legislation would greatly reduce the cost of premiums here on the Western Slope, where we choose between some of the highest prices anywhere, or crossed fingers.