The Public Policy Conundrum Facing Congress
The United States has long had the most expensive healthcare system in the world. Our national health-related spending has accounted for almost one-fifth of the gross national product, or several trillion dollars, which is far more than in any other country. Yet, there has been little correlation between the money paid for health care in America and the effectiveness of the American healthcare system, which former Senator Daschle once described “as islands of excellence in a sea of mediocrity.” Tom Daschle, Prospects for Health Care Reform in 2009, 27 Yale L. & Pol’y Rev. 173, 176 (2008). A comparison of health outcomes in other countries shows that the United States ranked twenty-eighth out of 37 countries in infant mortality and thirty-first in life expectancy among 192 other countries. The Save the Children Foundation ranked the United States twenty-second in the world on women’s health, twenty-seventh on mothers’ health, and thirty-third on children’s health—behind Poland, Slovakia, and Latvia.