In March this year, twitter user @YumiYoko became a mum following a caesarean section. Medical staff at Philadelphia’s Abington Memorial Hospital handed her a child, while administrators handed her a bill for over $42,000. Such is life under the US profit-making private healthcare system.
British actor Stephen McGann (who plays a doctor in popular British TV Drama ‘Call the Midwife’, set at the dawn of Britain’s National Health Service) sent the bill viral in June when he tweeted it to fans, and it has been reaching millions across the world ever since.
The US remains the only nation in the developed world that fails to provide universal healthcare for its citizens. Even a handful of Developing countries have prioritized their resources to ensure universal access to health care, including oil-rich Saudi Arabia and Oman, Costa Rica, Kyrgyzstan, and Cuba, among others.
Yet lawmakers in the richest nation on earth, the US, continue to argue that public healthcare is unaffordable.
Not only is public healthcare the moral thing to do, but it costs less.
Britain’s NHS saves more lives per pound ($1.62) spent on it than any healthcare system on earth except Ireland, and yet the Brits spend half the equivalent GDP the US spends on healthcare. Yet, as research by respected think tank The Commonwealth Fund revealed this year, the US has been ranked as having the most expensive and least effective healthcare system of all the industrialized nations…again.
America needs more than Obamacare, it needs to join the rest of the civilized world and provide universal, effective and efficient public healthcare for its citizens. And those nations who were successful in creating such systems, need to fight for them like their lives depended on it…because they do.