Many years back during my residency training, on my first overnight as the senior admitting resident, I got a call from an emergency physician at a tiny rural hospital. Her patient had pulmonary emboli -- blood clots to arteries of the lungs. She proposed to transfer the patient to our hospital, where closer monitoring would be available.
Last week, President Obama offered his plan for the federal budget. According to the President, his proposed $3.7 trillion budget for 2014 would cut deficits by $1.8 trillion over the next decade. The President’s plan includes a number of proposals, most notably: ending the “sequester” (that’s the current law that has automatically cut federal spending), reducing spending in the Medicare and Social Security programs, as well as tax increases that would primarily hit high-income households and corporations.
The United States spends more on health care than any other nation on earth. Yet, the U.S. has some of the worst health care outcomes of any nation in the developed world. Why is that? It’s due to the tortured way the nation runs its system.
It’s well established that the income gap between rich and poor in America has increased over the past few decades. Income inequality among developed nations is highest in the United States. Most of the growth in this inequality has been between the middle class and top earners, with the disparity becoming more extreme the further one goes up in income.