The Commonwealth Fund, a philanthropic foundation, has recently published another report on our health care system, and it doesn’t look good. The United States ranked dead last when compared to 10 other high-income countries.

The study looked at access to care, care process, administrative efficiency, equity, and health care outcomes. Dead last! It is estimated that 40,000 Americans die each year because of lack of insurance and poor access to care. They know what dead last means.

In addition, we spend much more than the other countries on our health care. We spend 17% of our gross domestic product (GDP is the total output of goods and services measured in dollars), while other nations spend about 11% — a 6% difference. This may not sound like much, but our GDP is $21 trillion, and 6% of that is a hefty $1.26 trillion that could go to meet other needs each and every year.

Where does all this money wind up?  You might look in the pockets of health insurance and pharmaceutical companies, which are focused on profit, not your care. We need a system that is much less complicated (a single-payer) and that will cover everyone. Improved Medicare for All is the answer.

G. Richard Dundas, M.D.