The Mix: When Losing Leads to Winning, Amazon Health, and More

Welcome to the maiden voyage of the monthly(ish) Mix – an aggressively moderate blend of things worth thinking about, from the deeply insightful to the indulgently ridiculous. Without further ado, here’s what’s in the Mix:

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Why Can’t America Figure Out Healthcare?

Our healthcare system is a mess.

The level of agreement is downright staggering – you know something is up when Fox News and The New York Times are rolling out the same headline. The case that American healthcare is broken practically writes itself:

  • US healthcare is freaking expensive. The US pays more per capita for healthcare than anywhere else in the world, and almost 20% of GDP (total value of everything produced in the country) is spent on healthcare.
  • What do we get for all that spending? The American healthcare system is ranked 37th in the world by overall health performance, between Costa Rica and Slovenia. Can you imagine if we left the Olympics 37th in gold medals? We’d have no choice but to divert half our defense spending to cloning Michael Phelps (actually… that may not be the worst idea).
  • Over 10% of Americans don’t have health insurance, meaning that 1 in 10 Americans pay full sticker price for the care they receive. Oh, did your appendix burst? That life-saving surgery you can’t avoid will cost $33,000. That’s enough money to feed a family of four – FOR TWO YEARS.
  • Navigating the healthcare system can be maddening. Studies say that 61% of people find their medical bills confusing, and over 90% of medical bills have errors.

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