How do we measure the wealth of a nation?
Economists will certainly point to the GDP (gross domestic product.) The GDP of a country is defined as the total market value of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time (usually a calendar year). It is also considered the sum of value added at every stage of production (the intermediate stages) of all final goods and services produced within a country in a given period of time. Last time I checked, we are still number one.
However as a physician, I must define the wealth of our country by medical terms: Infant mortality, for example. Infant mortality is defined as the number deaths of infants one year of age or younger per 1000 live births. In the United States, Infant mortality has remained the same since 1960 (7 per live births) in spite of a rise in Cesarean section from 3% to 33%. We are last in all the industrialized countries and even behind Castro's Cuba.
The real wealth of a country depends on how healthy and educated the population is. In both of these measurements, the U.S. is behind some Third World countries. Health insurance is not a priviledge--it's a right. We, as the wealthiest nation in the world, have an obligation to educate and take care of our citizens' health.