American Health Care Is Terrible

This is a bit out of left field, but I just wanted to briefly comment on the notion that Medicare for All is a tough sell because it means lots of Americans would have to give up their current coverage, which they love.

Maybe that’s true. But I wonder: how much would it take to teach Americans just how bad their current coverage probably is? What would it take to show them that people in other countries don’t have to worry about huge deductibles? Or gigantic copays. Or surprise billing because someone in the ER turns out not to be part of your insurance network.

People in other countries don’t have to worry about pre-existing conditions. They don’t have to worry about losing their coverage if they lose their job. They don’t have to spend endless hours on the phone trying to convince three or four different bureaucrats that their billing is wrong. Nor do they have to pull their hair out trying to figure out if their insurance company covers their particular illness at all.

American health insurance is great if you’re not sick. Hell, it’s fine if you’re only moderately sick. That describes most people, so most people think their insurance coverage is great. But American health insurance is terrible if you really need it. Oh, it will probably get you the treatment you need, but it’s likely to cost a bundle and will cause you to spend half your life arguing with claims agents over various things that they all say is the other guy’s responsibility.

It doesn’t have to be this way. If Tom Steyer can spend $10 million running ads calling for Trump’s impeachment, can’t some other billionaire decide to run ads telling Americans just how bad their current health coverage really is, and how good it could be if we just did something sensible?


We recently wrapped up the crowdfunding campaign for our ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project, and it was a smashing success. About 10,364 readers pitched in with donations averaging $45, and together they contributed about $467,374 toward our $500,000 goal.

That's amazing. We still have donations from letters we sent in the mail coming back to us, so we're on pace to hit—if not exceed—that goal. Thank you so much. We'll keep you posted here as the project ramps up, and you can join the hundreds of readers who have alerted us to corruption to dig into.

We Recommend


Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.


Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.


Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.