What It’s All About

MSNBC switched away from the health care summit to show a Sweden-Finland hockey match. It was a reminder of what a narrow band of ideas we discuss in the United States. I’ve discussed Swedish health care before, and in Finland they have crazy beliefs like “one of the duties of the public sector is to take care of the health and wellbeing of the population” and therefore “social and health care in Finland is funded primarily by taxation.”

Looking at the slides from the OECD’s health at a glance PowerPoint presentation offers an excellent reminder of what the quest for universal coverage is all about:

unmetcare 1

This is unmet care defined as “Did not get medical care, missed medical test, treatment or follow-up, did not fill prescription or missed doses.” It’s striking that not only does the US do much worse with regard to poor people, we do much worse than many countries with regard to richer than average people.