Compared to other rich democracies, the U.S. spends much more of its national wealth on healthcare, has among the lowest life expectancy statistics, and is the only nation with large portions of its citizens uninsured. Yet, crafting major legislation to improve conditions is very difficult. Democrats worked for more than four decades to pass the first major expansion after creation of Medicare: the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in 2010. Since the ACA was passed, the percent of Americans without health insurance has dropped from 16.3 to 8.8 in 2017. That is still far more than in other countries such as Canada, France, and Germany, and the ACA has been widely criticized. But the new efforts to repeal and replace the ACA as well as substantially change Medicaid failed in the Senate this past July.
Healthcare is so important to our lives that any change is scary. Critics of adapting other countries' approaches say that would create other problems, such as long wait times or rationed care. So is their better performance on coverage and costs truly deceptive? Does evidence from other countries provide any guidance for U.S. reform?
Join us, the Cleveland Council on World Affairs, Global Cleveland, International Partners in Mission, and the Northeast Ohio Consortium for Middle Eastern Studies (NOCMES) for a free discussion on what the U.S. can learn from other international healthcare models.
Photo: World Health Organization