Bloomington doctor Rob Stone calls the current U.S. healthcare system “a dinosaur stumbling toward the tar pit.” Stone is the director of Hoosiers for a Commonsense Health Plan. He gave a talk on the Bloomington campus Monday in which he made the case that the American healthcare system is collapsing, and universal health care is the solution. Stone says the current programs to aid uninsured patients are not working.
Stone says insurance premiums have gone up 87 percent from 2000 to 2006, while wage increases and inflation have not come anywhere near that rate. He says the current system is mainly employer-based, and the number of employers offering health insurance is falling. Stone says 31 percent of of every healthcare dollar goes to the overhead costs and profits of private insurers, amounting to about 1,400 dollars per person per year. He says if the U.S. health system were run as efficiently as the Canadian health care system, the U.S. could have saved $300 billion in healthcare in 2007 alone. Stone says the U.S. can’t afford not to reform health care.
Stone says 47 million, or one in six Americans, are uninsured, and that 75 to 80 percent of uninsured live in working families; 18 percent are children. Stone cites a study that claims 18,000 Americans die a year because of lack of health insurance.