WHEN Thomas Jefferson talked of a healthy population as a prerequisite for an effective and informed citizenry capable of sustaining the new American democracy, he was speaking of a public good, not another commercial enterprise. Our failure to adequately treat basic health care as a public good has left us in crisis.
We seem as a society to be inundated with plans and talk about what to do about the current health care crisis—a crisis consisting of inadequate financial access to health care for a large segment of our population and of ever-escalating and uncontrolled costs for the services we do get. It would appear that we may be in danger of actually doing something about it; I use the word "danger" because none of the plans and none of the talk thus far say anything about how we expect to provide the care, especially to that 15% to 20%
Bulger RJ. Using Academic Health Centers to Help Avoid Health Care's Next Crisis. JAMA. 1993;269(19):2548-2549. doi:10.1001/jama.1993.03500190092042