The Elephant in our Country

The Elephant in the room paints a picture that is likely used far too often. In our country’s case, it is more than appropriate. The healthcare industry is by far the largest industry in our country. Our per capita costs exceed $13,000 which is about 2 ½ times the average of the EU countries. The top four sectors (see chart following) are all part of the healthcare industry. The numbers for 1,3 & 4 are all part of the problem as are a significant portion of item #3. If we use a very conservative ratio of 5% for number 2 the total is over $4.3 trillion and that does not include the $34 billion we spend on healthcare premium credits. This industry accounts for 16% of our annual GDP. We spend over $2 trillion more than we should be spending, hence why I refer to this as a hidden tax on our residents. This tax is almost an added 50% on top of the tax that you can see.  I am appalled and you should be. What is being done to remedy this? The answer is next to nothing. A solution to this issue is our current revenue shortfall. So, who pays for our healthcare system? Our Government and amount subsidizes Medicare and Medicaid to almost 38%. Companies share in this cost through their benefit programs and this amounts to about 24%. The remaining 38% is paid by us in the form of insurance premiums, deductibles, co-pays, and by workers for the portion that their company insurance does not cover.  

Based on the expert analysis and our database of 1,300+ US industries, IBISWorld presents a list of the Biggest Industries by Revenue in the US

The 10 Biggest Industries by Revenue in the US


Annual Revenue

1. Hospitals in the US                                                               $1.426.9B

2. Drug, Cosmetic & Toiletry Wholesaling in the US           $1.364.7B

3. Pharmaceuticals Wholesaling in the US                            $1.292.2B

4. Health & Medical Insurance in the US                               $1.246.9B

5. Commercial Banking in the US                                            $1.210.9B

6. New Car Dealers in the US                                                   $1.124.3B

7. Life Insurance & Annuities in the US                                  $1.121.4B

8. Public Schools in the US                                                           $995.7B

9. Retirement & Pension Plans in the US                                   $937.4B

10. Gasoline & Petroleum Wholesaling in the US                    $928.0B

Who is to blame? We are! Nothing will change until we wake up and demand that our elected representatives take positive action. And what action would that be? For starters we need to evaluate the healthcare systems of several other countries (I suggest 5): Spain, France, Italy, Portugal & the UK. An “independent” task force of healthcare & financial professions should be tasked with evaluating these other systems and by taking the best elements present a plan that reduces our per capita cost in half without reducing available services. Warning: There will be considerable backlash from Hospitals, Drug companies, the legal profession, Insurance providers physicians, and others that feed at the healthcare trough.

Healthcare by Country
Per Capita
 Slovakia $    2,691
 Hungary $    2,840
 Poland $    2,973
 Greece $    3,015
 Estonia $    3,091
 Israel $    3,444
 Latvia $    3,445
 Lithuania $    3,587
 Slovenia $    4,114
 Portugal $    4,162
 Italy $    4,291
 Spain $    4,462
 Czech Republic $    4,499
 South Korea $    4,570
 Japan $    5,251
 Iceland $    5,314
 United Kingdom $    5,493
 Finland $    5,676
 Ireland $    6,047
 New Zealand $    6,061
 Denmark $    6,280
 Canada $    6,319
 Luxembourg $    6,436
 Sweden $    6,438
 France $    6,517
 Australia $    6,596
 Belgium $    6,600
 Austria $    7,275
 Netherlands $    7,358
 Norway $    7,898
 Germany $    8,011
 Switzerland $    8,049
United States $  12,555
Average of other $        5,445