Just the Facts
Five Facts on Health Care in the U.S.
By Emma Petasis
April 30, 2019 | Blog
Health care affects every person in the U.S. and is expected to be an important topic in the 2020 presidential election. Here are the facts of our current health care system.
1. The U.S. spends $2.8 trillion on health care annually.
This comes to more than $8,500 per person, and takes up 1/6 of the country’s economy, surpassing all other Western countries.
2. The U.S. is ranked 11 when it comes to system performance.
In a study conducted by the Commonwealth Fund, the U.S. was ranked last in a study of 11 developed nations when looking at the performance of the health care system. Studying care process, access, administrative efficiency, equity and health care outcomes, it was determined that Canada, the UK, Australia, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland, Germany, and France rank above the United States.
3. 26 million Americans don’t have health insurance.
USA Today reports that as of 2017, 26 million Americans are uninsured, which is a drastic improvement from the 57 million Americans who were uninsured prior to the establishment of the Affordable Care Act.
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4. Republican legislation aims at pre-existing condition protection.
Unveiled earlier this month, Senate Republicans proposed a plan that would protect individuals with pre-existing conditions, prohibiting insurers from raising premiums and barring coverage. Republicans want to keep choices available for families when choosing a health care plan.
5. Democrats are split on where they stand on health care.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) introduced the bill “Medicare for All” which would give every American government-run and funded health insurance, eliminating privately held insurance programs. Other senators have joined to introduce the bill, including other Democratic senators running for president, including Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ) and Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY). Other Democrats don’t want to rush to change our current system entirely and would rather strengthen the Affordable Care Act already in place.