How sick is the U.S. health care system?

Raeanna Marnati -- The Stinger
On Tuesday, December 4, UW-Superior students Dustin Behlke and Louis Fallert partnered together to inform campus on just how sick the American healthcare system is.  The presentation was part of a community education project completed by Eric Edward’s “Sociology of Health” class. All week long through December 10 students will be presenting a different topic related to health in the Yellow Jacket Union and the Marcovich Wellness Center.

“How Sick is the U.S. Healthcare System” was a project aimed to let people know just how twisted and manipulative the healthcare industry is here in the United States compared to other countries.

In the United States in 2007, 62.1% of all bankruptcies were related to medical bills.  Most of the medical debtors were well-educated, owned homes and had middle-class occupations.  Nearly three-quarters of them also had health insurance and were still forced to file bankruptcy.

We hear from politicians every day that the United States has the best health care delivery system in the world and that we enjoy the beast health care in the world.  If we have the best system, why are people filing bankruptcy over medical bills? Why are those with pre-existing conditions not able to be insured?

Each person in the United States spends more than any other country on health care.  The United States ranks 37th in the health care system rankings.

Dustin Behlke says that he wanted to open people’s eyes to just how important of an issue this is.

“There’s a serious problem here,” says Behlke, “People don’t realize that the big thing that drives our health care is money, not health.  Look at how much we spend and how little we get. I don’t know if anything will change.”

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