EP 297 American Health In Crisis

 America’s patchwork for payment of medical expenses has ostensibly left the poorest and sickest among us vulnerable in ways unlike virtually any other advanced nation in the world.  To call the whole system a mess is an understatement.  That’s why it continues to get so much bandwidth in our political debate.  And while the Affordable Care Act has brought more coverage to millions of Americans, it hasn’t pieced together this fractured system into a coherent whole.  So the debate goes on.  Will it be Medicare for All?  A public option cobbled on to the existing private market?  Or will we leave insufficient enough alone? No one knows.  But until we agree on whether health economics is to be underpinned by the goal of making certain that a rich child and a poor child have the same access to medical care, we will continue struggling with the vagaries of our current system.  Preeminent Princeton economist, Uwe Reinhardt in his final book, ‘Priced Out’, completed just before he died recently challenged us to take into account the economic and ethical costs of American health care.  His life partner, Tsung Mei-Cheng, a researcher at Princeton University, helps explain his thinking, and hers, about this crucial subject.  If you want a primer on how we got here and ways out of this morass, this is your podcast.