In the 2018 midterm elections, 41 percent of voters (a plurality) said health care was their top issue. The way things are shaping up, health care is likely to be a top issue in the 2020 elections, too.

We hear candidates on both sides of the aisle talking about their solutions, but in order to find the best solution, we have to understand the nature of the problem. One popular talking point is that America’s healthcare system performs poorly compared to other nations and costs twice as much. This point is only partially true.

It’s true that we have a health costs crisis, but it’s not true that Americans receive poor quality medical care compared to the rest of the world. Watch this video to learn more:



(function(d, s, id) {
if (d.getElementById(id)) return;
var js = d.createElement(s); = id;
js.src = “//”;
}(document, “script”, “wibbitz-static-embed”));


For citations and more information, visit this webpage.

Of course our healthcare system isn’t perfect. Hospitals, doctor’s offices, academic researchers, and others are striving everyday to study what works best for patients and make improvements. A forthcoming book by Dr. Marty Makary offers some excellent advice for improving “appropriateness” in medical care and offering doctors more time with patients (boy – wouldn’t that be nice for both of us)!

But it’s not fair to say the American health system provides a low quality of care compared to other nations, for all of the reasons cited in the video.

It is fair to say we overpay. This is due to a complex web of factors, including: 1) a messy payment pipeline where third-parties (middlemen) play too large a role, 2) distortions in our tax code and health insurance regulations that increase costs and 3) a lack of price transparency, limiting patients’ ability to shop for value in care.

Let’s hope that policymakers on both sides of the aisle focus on solving these cost-related problems first. With greater competition and choice, we will see not only lower prices but also better incentives for improvements in quality. The truth is, when medical care is more affordable and straightforward, it’s easier for everyone to get, and to get the best in quality.