Republicans, you are probably tired of hearing how so many Americans are sicker than their peers in other rich countries, lacking access to needed medical care. There are only so many times one can take being unfavorably compared to Denmark.
As you regroup after the collapse of your bill to repeal the Affordable Care Act, hoping to figure out some new approach to dismember it, you might want to think not about Denmark, but about Rwanda.
Rwanda’s economy adds up to some $700 per person, less than one-eightieth of the average economic output of an American. A little more than two decades ago it was shaken by genocidal interethnic conflict that killed hundreds of thousands. Still today, a newborn Rwandan can expect to live to 64, 15 years less than an American baby.
But over the past 15 years or so, Rwanda has built a near-universal health care system that covers more than 90 percent of the population, financed by tax revenue, foreign aid and voluntary premiums scaled by income.