How America Is A Third World Country

Health is wealth, and America is poor
4 min readMar 9, 2020


Map of countries with free or universal healthcare (green, blue) and without (red)

This is a map of universal healthcare. It is also a map of who is at most risk from coronavirus. It’s the same thing. There is no public health without public healthcare. At this time of pandemic, the countries without healthcare are the ones that are going to get sick. It’s that simple.

America contains an Australia worth of uninsured people (28 million) and a nearly South Korea worth of underinsured people (44 million) sitting in the middle of 255 million other people who now have zero herd protection.

America is also one of the only countries without paid sick leave, one of the most effective ways to limit epidemics. The United States does not have a functioning public health system and they are about to get very sick. Shields down, shields down, incoming.

There are three worlds of healthcare, and America is in the third.

The Three Worlds

During the cold war, the three worlds were Team America, Team Russia, and Team Everybody Else. Everybody else was mostly poor, so that’s our concept of the third world. It’s not relevant anymore. There is a new world order.

Some of those ‘shithole’ countries became like South Korea, and some stayed relatively poor, like my home Sri Lanka, but invested in public health. Meanwhile, every ‘developed’ country besides America invested in public health because obviously, why would you live like this. They say health is wealth, and now we’re finding that out.

The First World

In this new first world are countries with universal healthcare. Health care which is both accessible and also very good, for the vast majority of cases. These countries are colored in green in the map above.

The Second World

In the new second world, you have countries with universal but not free healthcare. You have healthcare that’s accessible, but not very good. For a heart attack or car accident, you’re fine, but a serious cancer will require selling the house and begging for money. For stuff like epidemics, however, you’re covered. These countries are in blue.

The Third World



Indrajit (Indi) Samarajiva is a Sri Lankan writer. Follow me at, or just email me at