In an editorial published last Sunday, The New York Times explored what it called "the worst long-term fiscal crisis facing the nation" - rising health care costs. The piece provided a helpful survey of causes and possible solutions, but no silver bullet. As the editorial concluded, "A wide range of contributing factors needs to be tackled simultaneously, with no guarantee they will have a substantial impact any time soon."
The most arresting part of the piece was its summary of the United States' health care dilemma, laid out in the opening paragraphs:
The relentless, decades-long rise in the cost of health care has left many Americans struggling to pay their medical bills. Workers complain that they cannot afford high premiums for health insurance. Patients forgo recommended care rather than pay the out-of-pocket costs. Employers are cutting back or eliminating health benefits, forcing millions more people into the ranks of the uninsured. And state and federal governments strain to meet ...1