We may have the best doctors in the world, but we have a mediocre healthcare system. Both before and after the start of Obama care. Take a look at the statistics here.
Basic measurements of performance are cost and health care outcomes. As to cost we are more than twice the average of other developed nations (OECD) and more than 60% than western European countries. These other countries have a broad range of health care systems including socialized, insurance mandates, private insurance, single payer, tax based and two-tier system. Yet they all perform better than the US for both cost and outcomes.. We have surgery and major test rates double other countries. And over prescription and patent laws drive our pharmacy rates to be double the rest of the western world. If we had great outcomes then I would be happy with the cost, but we have lousy outcomes. We have poor outcomes relative to other western countries as measured by any measure include life expectancy, asthma rates and infant mortality. So both before and after Obama care we have been paying twice as much and getting half the results. Much of this is indeed the system's fault such as the very high number of clerical workers in a US doctor's office to fight with the Byzantine insurance system, the perverse incentive that doctors get paid more for doing too much in a fee for service and the broken way we over pay for patented drugs. One the other hand we as a society have each have some responsibility. How many Americans really make any effort to drop that weight the doctor proscribed they drop? As consumer of health care far too many of us hector our doctors into over prescribing and over aggressive surgery decisions. We must be willing to accept that often the correct prescription is to make changes to our diet and not a prescribe a pill. The effects of the waning smoking epidemic is still working its way through the health care system and it would be interesting to see if the rise in deaths are these folks causing a blip or perhaps it is just the leading edge of the obesity epidemic or even the fallout from over prescribing opiods. I still see a candy jar setting on every admin's desk that gets paid for by the company that is paying for part of the health care cost - how crazy is that? One word of caution with the statistics, they are averages. We have a very uneven societies and this expensive health care is not spread evenly. In the US, the rich over consume health care while the poor put off preventive care until the cost of fixing what would have been a preventable/curable illness become massive. Drug costs for diabetes is a big chunk of health care dollars and most diabetes can be cured with weight loss. Again with an uneven society folks working 50 hours a week flipping burgers and no options for time off for a check-up are set-up to fail. Sure, IT and tech workers spend long hours at work and feel pressure, but few of us would be fired the first time we took an hour off to see a doctor. Yes, as others have said Obama care fixes access, not quality. That quality fix takes no small part of responsibility on our part.