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Opinion: Healthcare costs are a civil rights issue

The Washington Post, August 29, 2013

In 1963, when Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his "I Have A Dream" speech, America spent 5.5 percent of gross domestic product on health care . Today we spend 18 percent, while most other wealthy nations spend 10 to 12 percent through systems that deliver equal or better health outcomes. In a $16 trillion economy, our excess health-care spending — that is, money we devote to health care that plainly isn't needed for quality care — thus comes to a staggering $1 trillion a year. Call this a trillion-dollar "diversion" or "opportunity cost." Call it a "rip-off." Or even "theft."