We can tally the deaths that we know are caused by denials of care or medical errors in the U.S. health care system, and those numbers are horrifying. Yet most of the American public doesn't pay much attention to the issue, and many only gripe about the health care system when their costs for maintaining health coverage or getting care exceed what is available in their personal budgets. We live in a highly individualistic and selfish society when it comes to many of life's most essential needs. And unless we can figure out a way to reward most Americans for having a sense of empathy toward those who are sick or weak, I am afraid it will be difficult to protect our current social safety net programs (including Medicare) or to reinvent our health care system without profit and business success as its primary motivations.
I work for a small non-profit that supports single-payer reform in health care financing.