Aiming high for the U.S. health system: A context for health reform

Karen Davis, Cathy Schoen, Katherine Shea, Christine Haran

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Policy officials often assert that the U.S. has the best health care system in the world, but a recent scorecard on U.S. health system performance finds that the U.S. achieves a score of only 65 out of a possible 100 points on key indicators of performance in five key domains: healthy lives, access, quality, equity, and efficiency, where 100 represents the best achieved performance in other countries or within the U.S. The U.S. should aim higher by adopting a set of policies that will extend affordable health insurance to all; align financial incentives for health care providers to enhance value and achieve savings; organize the health care system around the patient to ensure that care is accessible and coordinated; meet and raise benchmarks for high-quality, efficient care; and ensure accountable national leadership and public-private collaboration. The incoming president and Congress should aspire to have the best health system in the world - not just assert it - and can do so by learning from examples of excellence within the U.S. and abroad.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)629-643
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Law, Medicine and Ethics
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2008
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)


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