Came across this somewhat randomly yesterday. It's Tom Daschle giving a speech in Colorado. He was a bit more courageous on the framing of this issue than are most of the current participants.
But before we define the solution, I think it’s important that we define the problem. It’s important that we’re all on the same page, that we agree what the problem really is. Before we define the problem we have to destroy the myth. And the myth in our country has long been that we have the best healthcare system in the world. Why else would kings and leaders all around the world, people of prominence come to the United States?
Well to a certain extent that is true. But for every king who may come to the United States, there are thousands of people who leave the US to get medical care elsewhere. They call it now medical tourism. Thousands of people leave the United States because the quality and the cost is better in other countries. So how do we explain, well we explain by simply stating that we have islands of excellence in a sea of mediocrity.
We are 29th in the world when it comes to infant mortality. 29th. We are 24th in overall women’s health. We rank 31st in life expectancy. On Pine Ridge Indian reservation the life expectancy of an Indian male is 47 years. The same as what it is in Botswana. We rank 37th overall in outcomes. 37th. Below Costa Rica and just above Slovenia. And I would ask how long would this country stand for being 37th in the Olympics? We wouldn’t stand for it long.