The Healthcare Issue Revisited, again….
One of my top soapbox issues is the status of our broken Healthcare system. It continues to bother me to no end. I suspect that I will continue to revisit this subject often. Here are a few bullet points that I hope will garner your attention:
- Our country has by far the most expensive system among all counties
- In 2018 the cost of our healthcare system was $11,600 for every man, woman & child!
- The average per capita cost for the EU, Canada, Australia & NZ was about $3,800 or 3x our cost.
- According to the WHO (World Health Organization) almost all of these countries deliver a superior healthcare product. (We rank 37th among all counties)
- We spent $3.8 trillion on Healthcare in 2018 (over 18 % of GDP) making it by far our largest industry. https://www.forbes.com/sites/danmunro/2014/02/02/annual-u-s-healthcare-spending-hits-3-8-trillion/#17694b3a76a9
- The Government pays for less than 30% of this, $1.1 trillion in the form of Medicare & Medicaid. The remainder is paid either by companies’ insurance benefits or by the tax payer in the form of premiums, co-pays and for some self-insured it is simply out of pocket. I could not fund a breakdown between what employers’ pay vs. others.
- The Cost of Medicare & Medicaid is the single largest Budget Expense at almost twice that of what we spend on Defense and it the major contributor to the annual deficit.
- Since there are much cheaper and better systems available to our leaders their inaction levies a very high tax on the tax payer. I have referred to this as a “hidden” tax since you do not realize that you are paying it.
Many smaller industries have their hand in our very lucrative system. For details on those I would refer you to earlier posts to my blog. The solution is not very complicated and the reason that it will likely never happen has to do with so much money being made in the private sector. Again, I would refer you to prior posts on this same subject for the details.
The high cost of health care can have several negative effects, including the following:
- When the government spends more on health care, the national debt increases and/or funds available for other programs decrease.
- When people spend more on health care, they have less money to spend for other things, and when health insurance is paid by their employer, they are paid less.
- When employers spend more on health care, the costs of their products and services increase, and jobs may be moved to countries with lower health care costs.
- More people cannot afford health care insurance. When people without health care insurance receive health care, they usually cannot pay for it. As a result, this care is paid for by other people who are paying into the health care system. Or, people without health care insurance may not seek care when they need it and thus develop a serious disorder that could have been prevented.
- Medical bills that are not covered by health insurance can lead to bankruptcy. https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/fundamentals/financial-issues-in-health-care/overview-of-health-care-financing