Opinion: U.S. needs a ‘new paradigm’ for health care system

Health care spending in the U.S. is higher than that of all other high-income countries, yet the U.S. has worse health outcomes and the lowest rate of health insurance coverage than its peer nations. John McDonough of Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health thinks that growth in for-profit enterprise across the health system is largely to blame.

In a June 24, 2020 opinion piece in The Milbank Quarterly, McDonough, professor of the practice of public health, argued that neoliberalist thinking from the late 1970s and 1980s—focused on tax cuts, repealing regulations, shrinking and privatizing government, and boosting free-market trade—has led to the current state of affairs in health care in the U.S. “And the for-profit acceleration is not slowing,” he wrote.

Outside the health care circle, however, “large segments of the American public want meaningful systemic change” to decrease the focus on profit-making in health care, according to McDonough. “The search is on for a new paradigm for American society,” he wrote.

Read the Milbank Quarterly article: US Health Care in Our Neoliberal Era