President Truman to Congress in 1945:
192. Special Message to the Congress Recommending a Comprehensive Health Program
November 19, 1945
To the Congress of the United States:
In my message to the Congress of September 6, 1945, there were enumerated in a proposed Economic Bill of Rights certain rights which ought to be assured to every American citizen.
One of them was: “The right to adequate medical care and the opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health.” Another was the “right to adequate protection from the economic fears of . .. sickness ….”
Millions of our citizens do not now have a full measure of opportunity to achieve and enjoy good health. Millions do not now have protection or security against the economic effects of sickness. The time has arrived for action to help them attain that opportunity and that protection.
Truman goes on to discuss number of doctors relative to population. It is interesting today to note how many other countries have more doctors/1000 than the US. Cuba for example has 2.5x as many, Greece twice as many. America is 52 on this list. http://www.nationmaster.com/country-info/stats/Health/Physicians/Per-1,000-people
What Truman called for was more social investment in health.
Private insurance is part of the problem. Total revenue is ~660 b. But 2016 est. on all health care spending is ~3.3 trillion.
The problem is an enormous economic puzzle with many moving parts. It represents the economic center of gravity in America — more so than the military.
Truman’s call was rejected as socialism. But the so-called free market approach has led to an economic nightmare that is not only absorbing money but also enormous portions of political energy. How much productivity lost debating ACA??