Here’s a question that’s been on my mind and perhaps yours: Is the US healthcare system expensive, complicated, dysfunctional, or broken? The simple answer is yes to all.
Below are 10 of the most convincing arguments I’ve heard that our system needs a major overhaul. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Remember, an entire industry has evolved in the US just to help people navigate the maddeningly complex task of choosing a health insurance plan.
The cost is enormous
- High cost, not highest quality. Despite spending far more on healthcare than other high-income nations, the US scores poorly on many key health measures, including life expectancy, preventable hospital admissions, suicide, and maternal mortality. And for all that expense, satisfaction with the current healthcare system is relatively low in the US.
- Financial burden. High costs combined with high numbers of underinsured or uninsured means many people risk bankruptcy if they develop a serious illness. Prices vary widely, and it’s nearly impossible to compare the quality or cost of your healthcare options — or even to know how big a bill to expect. And even when you ask lots of questions ahead of time and stick with recommended doctors in your health insurance network, you may still wind up getting a surprise bill. My neighbor did after knee surgery: even though the hospital and his surgeon were in his insurance network, the anesthesiologist was not.
Access is uneven
- Health insurance tied to employment. During World War II, healthcare was offered as a way to attract workers since employers had few other options. Few people had private insurance then, but now a layoff can jeopardize your access to healthcare.
- Healthcare disparities. The current US healthcare system has a cruel tendency to delay or deny high-quality care to those who are most in need of it but can least afford its high cost. This contributes to avoidable healthcare disparities for people of color and other disadvantaged groups.
- Health insurers may discourage care to hold down costs. Many health insurance companies restrict expensive medications, tests, and other services by declining coverage until forms are filled out to justify the service to the insurer. True, this can prevent unnecessary expense to the healthcare system — and to the insurance company. Yet it also discourages care deemed appropriate by your physician.
The twists and turns of the online brokerage’s path to a public offering The brokerage app Robinhood has transformed retail trading. WSJ explains its rise amidst a series of legal investigations and regulatory challenges as it looks forward to its IPO. Photo illustration: Jacob Reynolds/WSJ
Rising in popularity in the 1950s and 1960s, the convertible car is an automotive American icon. It was a vehicle meant for leisure and fun. Some of the most iconic models throughout history were convertibles, such as the Chevrolet Corvette and the Ford Mustang. However, in the last few years, convertibles have been slowly declining in popularity. Along with rising prices, American car buyers, especially those with children, value practicality and functionality over looks and leisure, leading their interest towards SUV’s and midsize sedans. In 2021, convertibles make up only 0.46% of new car sales. Can the iconic design stand the test of time?
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Curating some of the first photographic images of the country, Sabine Arqué and Sebastian Dobson unveil an epic panorama of 1900s Japan, guiding us from Beppu’s hot springs to bustling Osaka, from the historic capitals of Nara and Kyoto to their modern successor, Tokyo.
The River Thames, known alternatively in parts as the River Isis, is a river that flows through southern England including London. At 215 miles, it is the longest river entirely in England and the second-longest in the United Kingdom, after the River Severn.
Date filmed: Sunday – July 11, 2021
Filming location: River Thames – Eastbound – Hampton Court to Richmond, London
This specialist hunter knows just how dangerous their prey can be. To solve this problem, they hypnotise crabs by changing the colour of their skin.
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