The US pays far more for health care than any other nation but gets less. On generally accepted indicators of health care quality, the US ranks at the bottom of the OECD country rankings.
Despite the complexity of the new health care legislation, the fundamental US health care problem is simple; it pays too much for what it gets. This point is documented below along with ideas on how the problem might be remedied. The US spends more by far than any other OECD country on health care, and gets the lowest payoff.
The health care cost of obesity is significant and obesity has become an epidemic in much of the developed world, with the U.S. leading the way. In the US, health reform has been debated in the process leading up to the passage of the Patient Protection and Afforable Health Care Act in 2010. But an expensive contributor to health care costs gets little attention: overweight and obese people. Two easy numbers to remember:
Two-thirds of Americans are overweight;
One-third are obese.
Beyond the US, there is a global obesity epidemic. And in the least developed nations, the number of obese children now exceeds the number underfed.
Is the sun setting on the US Empire? Probably. Worse things could happen. It probably does not matter which party is in power or who is president. The signposts are are financial, related to energy, in failed foreign policy, misdirected immigration policies, ineffective and inefficient health care, third world education quality, poor personal lifestyle choices, concentration of wealth, political corruption funded by the wealthy, etc.