Good answer to a health care question

I am not sure how many readers of this blog check out the website Quora. People post questions on a wide variety of topics and knowledgeable people reply. I usually check out the physics questions and have been impressed with the quality of many of the the answers. But occasionally my eye catches questions on other topics and such as this one since it is a topic I blog about a lot.

Q: Why is the healthcare system screwed in the USA?

I was amused by the answer given by Mats Andersson who I believe is from Sweden. (All emphases are in the original.)

A: It isn’t.

It’s extremely efficient at doing what it was designed to do.

Your mistake is assuming it was designed to make people healthy. It isn’t. It’s designed to extract the maximum amount of money from the population. It’s extremely efficient at that; in fact, at least twice as efficient as the second most expensive healthcare system.

If you want to design a system that keeps people healthy, and that cures them once they are ill, you should not use a system that has been designed to maximise wealth. Healthcare is what you spend your wealth on. You should use a system that has been designed to maximise health.

That’s how we’ve done it in the rest of the world.

I couldn’t have said it better myself.


  1. blf says

    Heh. That’s good.

    Apropos of not much, my own experience with Quora is similiar-ish to Wikipedia (which I usually call Ye Pfffft! of All Knowledge), namely, it can be quite good for the odd tidbit, and especially for clews as to more detailed / robust sources. Whilst I do quote Ye Pfffft!…, I’m loathe to use it, or Quora, or similar, as a primary or exclusive source when it really matters. Stackexchange is another site in this mould, and some of the expert groups (e.g., LaTeX) have answers from the originators, and so perhaps can, sometimes, serve as a primary reference.

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