The couple concluded that the medical industry is at the heart of two key drivers in making those deaths an American phenomenon.
“One fact is that they unleashed these extremely powerful opioids on to the general public as if they were jelly beans at an Easter parade and that has not happened in Europe,” said Case. “The second is the way that we organise our healthcare system. We have the most expensive healthcare in the world and how do we pay for that? We pay for that per person.”
That has created a system Case and Deaton described as “Sheriff of Nottingham redistribution” in the fleecing of the poor to give to rich corporations while the high cost of healthcare forces companies to shed jobs and drives firms to bankruptcy.
“The American healthcare system is a leading example of an institution that, under political protection, redistributes income upwards to hospitals, physicians, device-makers, and pharmaceutical companies while delivering among the worst health outcomes of any rich country,” the economists write.