Another point we aren't hearing much about in the debate about health care is that in the US we pay more for health care than any other country in the world. The data is a little old, but in 1997 we spent $3,912 per person on health care expenditures (undoubtedly it would be at least double that today). In comparison, Germany was $2,364, Canada $2,175, France $2,047, Japan $1,760, U.K. $1,391, and Korea $870. Other countries on average spend about half what the US spends per capita on health care. And what do we get for spending twice as much per capita than anyone else? Do we get a medical system twice as good as other country's systems? Well, no actually, we don't. Do we get one that is the best in the world? Once again the answer is "no". In a World Health Organization study the US was ranked 37th best for health care system performance.

Simply stated we spend twice as much as other countries and get a poor health care system in return.

Medical insurance coverage for all is a great goal. Everyone should have access to medical care. The question is how to get there in a cost effective way. The answer is that it would be easily affordable if a large number of people made sensible and easy changes to their diets and lifestyle. The widespread adoption of a plant based vegetarian diet, regular exercise, and avoidance of intoxicants would likely save over a trillion dollars per year. More than enough to pay for medical insurance for all.

Thanks for reading.

Mark Fergusson