The crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic has prompted widespread alarm about deficiencies and disparities in the health care system in the United States.1 Despite having the world’s most expensive medical care, outcomes are woefully poor and lifespan and overall health appear to be declining. Tens of millions of uninsured or underinsured Americans mean large swaths of the country fail to receive even the most routine preventive health maintenance, leading to an overwhelming burden of chronic disease and lost productivity. We need to recognize that the US health care system is deeply flawed. The old bromide “never let a crisis go to waste” has never been so apt. The COVID pandemic is threatening to place US health care on life support, with our only hope of recovery being a major commitment to overhaul and repair our frailties and inequalities.
Med, Volume 2, 15 January 2021,