Employment-based health insurance is in decline. Between 2000 and 2004, the number of Americans under 65 rose by 10 million, yet the number of nonelderly Americans covered by employment-based insurance fell by 4.9 million. The solutionnational health insurance, available to everyoneis obvious. But to see the obvious we'll have to overcome pridethe unwarranted belief that the U.S. has nothing to learn from other countriesand prejudicethe unwarranted belief that private insurance is more efficient than public insurance. It's a fact that America's health-care system spends more, for worse results, than that of any other country. Yet the U.S. has lower life expectancy and higher infant mortality than many advanced countries. Why does American medicine cost so much, yet achieve so little? We treat access to health care as a privilege rather than a right. This is inefficient and cruel. The economic and moral case for health-care reform in America is overwhelming.
Paul Krugman [11/07/05]