Gerald Friedman, UMass Amherst economics professor, appeared on WGBY’s Connecting Point to discuss the problems with our current health care system. According to Friedman, 15% of the U.S. population does not have health insurance and approximately one-third of Americans do not have insurance at some point during the year or inadequate coverage. “We have superb health care and wonderful technology, but a growing part of the American population doesn’t have access to it.”
Massachusetts has done a much better job than other states addressing the problem of access. In fact, 98% of residents are now covered as a result of the health care bill that came into effect in 2006. While Friedman acknowledges that this is a major accomplishment, he is concerned that we have not addressed the issue of cost. He cites accountable care organizations as a possible solution to address the rising costs of health care, but is not convinced they can work within our current insurance system. Friedman believes that ultimately some sort of national health care system, which is the system adopted by many other countries, may be the only solution.