The policies of former President Donald Trump and his predecessors have turned out badly for American public health.
This is the conclusion of a committee with dozens of international experts who advocate far-reaching reforms in the medical journal The Lancet.
The committee says that health policy has been going in the wrong direction for decades. According to the researchers, if death rates in the US had been comparable to those in other G7 countries, 461,000 fewer Americans would have died in 2018.
The death toll from the coronavirus was also 40 percent lower in 2020.
According to the researchers, the problems arose in the 1980s during the tenure of President Ronald Reagan, who was committed to a smaller government. His ideology would also have influenced the policies of subsequent Republican and Democratic presidents.
Trump measures, such as tax cuts and deregulation, are cited as examples of Reagan-style policies.
The commission says persistent budget cuts made the US vulnerable during the pandemic. Health services budgets have been cut, and between 2008 and 2016, 50,000 jobs were lost to primary care workers. The medical system is described as fragmented and focused on making a profit.