I'm wondering if someone smarter than I am would explain why so many Americans are so totally against something that seems so obviously in their own interest.

Health care is the issue, and it is utterly baffling that so many Americans are adamant that they want - no, demand - to pay exorbitant prices for second-rate care.

How bad is it? In 2012, the International Federation of Health Plans did a comparative study of costs and found that across 21 common medical procedures and drugs, the United States was the most costly in every single case - often by a mind-boggling degree. As an example, the average cost of a hip replacement in the U.S. is slightly over $40,000. In Spain, the same procedure costs $7,731. And Spain isn't the cheapest country.

But wait, we may pay a lot more, but we get better care, right? Not by a long shot. The World Health Organization uses as a measure of a nation's health the number of years an average person can expect to remain healthy (Disability Adjusted Life Expectancy). The U.S. came in 24th. Spain, low cost as it is, came in fifth.

We spend way more, we get way less. Why is that? Why do so many Americans desperately cling to a system that is screwing them coming and going?

The U.S. is the only wealthy, industrialized nation in the entire world that does not have some form of universal health care. The only one. Can someone please explain that?

GUS SCHICK

Millville

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