A major obstacle impeding universal coverage in the United States

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What’s unique to the United States that’s rare in the rest of the developed world?

According to respected economist Uwe Reinhardt, Americans want to have their cake and eat it too. This is why universal coverage is such a contentious issue.

Dr. Reinhardt explains the principle of social solidarity, which means that “health care should be financed by individuals on the basis of their ability to pay, but should be available to all who need it on roughly equal terms.”

There is little of that evident in the United States: “Many Americans oppose such a mandate as an infringement of their personal rights, all the while believing that they have a perfect right to highly expensive, critically needed health care, even when they cannot pay for it.”

Indeed, “this immature, asocial mentality is rare in the rest of the world,” and it is this attitude that will continue to be a major impediment on the road towards universal coverage.

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