American Health Care Is Terrible

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis, the election, and more, subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter.

This is a bit out of left field, but I just wanted to briefly comment on the notion that Medicare for All is a tough sell because it means lots of Americans would have to give up their current coverage, which they love.

Maybe that’s true. But I wonder: how much would it take to teach Americans just how bad their current coverage probably is? What would it take to show them that people in other countries don’t have to worry about huge deductibles? Or gigantic copays. Or surprise billing because someone in the ER turns out not to be part of your insurance network.

People in other countries don’t have to worry about pre-existing conditions. They don’t have to worry about losing their coverage if they lose their job. They don’t have to spend endless hours on the phone trying to convince three or four different bureaucrats that their billing is wrong. Nor do they have to pull their hair out trying to figure out if their insurance company covers their particular illness at all.

American health insurance is great if you’re not sick. Hell, it’s fine if you’re only moderately sick. That describes most people, so most people think their insurance coverage is great. But American health insurance is terrible if you really need it. Oh, it will probably get you the treatment you need, but it’s likely to cost a bundle and will cause you to spend half your life arguing with claims agents over various things that they all say is the other guy’s responsibility.

It doesn’t have to be this way. If Tom Steyer can spend $10 million running ads calling for Trump’s impeachment, can’t some other billionaire decide to run ads telling Americans just how bad their current health coverage really is, and how good it could be if we just did something sensible?

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

SIX TRUTHS

Reclaiming power from those who abuse it often starts with telling the truth. And in "This Is How Authoritarians Get Defeated," MoJo's Monika Bauerlein unpacks six truths to remember during the homestretch of an election where democracy, truth, and decency are on the line.

Truth #1: The chaos is the point.

Truth #2: Team Reality is bigger than it seems.

Truth #3: Facebook owns this.

Truth #4: When we go to work, we're in the fight.

Truth #5: It's about minority rule.

Truth #6: The only thing that can save us is…us.

Please take a moment to see how all these truths add up, because what happens in the weeks and months ahead will reverberate for at least a generation and we better be prepared.

And if you think journalism like Mother Jones'—that calls it like it is, that will never acquiesce to power, that looks where others don't—can help guide us through this historic, high-stakes moment, and you're able to right now, please help us reach our $350,000 goal by October 31 with a donation today. It's all hands on deck for democracy.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate