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America’s sick and costly health care system

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Forget car dealers; Americans are flummoxed by the marketplace for health care. Two new reports published recently show consumers are increasingly anxious about medical costs and access to care, with record numbers signing up for subsidized health coverage. The system is not working for the majority of Americans, and the inequities are only getting worse.

A new national survey released last week shows the frustration Americans are feeling amid the continuing grind of the pandemic. An estimated 100 million Americans would describe the health care system as either “expensive” or “broken,” according to the West Health-Gallup 2021 Healthcare in America Report. Almost half say their view of the system has worsened in the era of COVID-19. And as the Tampa Bay Times’ Margo Snipe reports, the nation’s outlook is equally grim, with nine in 10 of those surveyed saying they expect their health care costs to increase.

The United States spends nearly $4 trillion on health care, making it the most expensive system in the world. Yet it produces the worst outcomes in categories such as life expectancy, obesity rates, chronic disease burdens and suicide rates, compared to other high-income countries, according to the Commonwealth Fund. While the nation’s top 1% […]

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