Republican Mitt Romney’s pick of Paul Ryan as running mate for November’s US presidential election has catapulted Medicare to the top of the agenda (along with his budget plan).
Already the attack ads have boiled down the essence of the campaign: Ryan wants to push granny off a cliff by handing Medicare budgets to states and turning the medical support for the elderly into a voucher scheme. The Romney response is to attack “Obamacare”, pointing out the scale of cuts to Medicare made by the president in order to fund a wider healthcare scheme.
As usual in politics, neither is addressing the real question: why is American healthcare such poor value for money?
This is best shown by just one amazing statistic: the US government spends a bigger chunk of GDP on health than the British government – which gets a nationwide healthcare system for it. Americans only get care for the elderly (Medicare) and the poor (Medicaid). Read more