What are the flaws and successes in the US healthcare system?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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There are two major flaws and one major success in the healthcare system in the United States.

The major success in our system is that it gives pretty good care to the people who are able to get private insurance.  It also gives decent care to the people on Medicare.  The US system is good enough that it has been able to improve people’s lives tremendously.  There are many drugs available to treat many conditions that could not be treated a generation ago.  People who have access to the system can generally be cared for quite well.

There are two major flaws.  The first of these is implied by the phrasing in the previous paragraph.  Those “who have access to the system” are fairly well-off.  However, there are too many people who do not have access.  There are too many people who have too much money to qualify for government programs but whose jobs are not good enough to provide them with health insurance.  The second flaw is cost.  The American healthcare system is tremendously expensive.  Booming costs for Medicare threaten the financial stability of the US government in the long term.

Thus, the US system is pretty good in the short term for those who can access it.  However, many cannot access it and the long-term prospects are somewhat less sunny for the viability of the system as a whole.