Health Care Costs — Paying More for the Same Services
The International Federation of Health Plans released its 2010 report today. (PDF here.)
The good news is that the problem is clear: Americans pay too much for the same services. The bad news is (1) we’ve known that for years and (2) the factions who are gaining these excessive rents want to keep their sinecures.
But I’ve said this before. That it remains true is as true as “that which cannot go on will not go on.”
How it ends—its eschaton, as it were—is what is being discussed. Hint to doctors: You are the farmers of the 2010s; you will lose either way. (Think 1994 all over again, this time with a vengeance.)
Before around 1980, the percentage of US GDP that went to health care was about the same as that of other advanced economies. But then we pulled ahead (so to speak) and began spending a greater percentage. How come? (And don’t just say that we got a Republican President. I know, the percentage stayed about the same under Clinton, and then the gap grew again under Bush II.) Please be more specific. 🙂
Medical Care Services are up 53% in the last 10 years! US Inflation Rate for Medical Care Services
Min, it’s connected to growing income inequality so it is connected to Republican policies. As the rich get richer, they get charged more for health care and this pulls up the cost for everyone else.
Its not exactly the same service a lot more tests exist now than then. Let me give an example back in the 1950s I fell of my bike and got knocked out. My mother called the physician, he said, watch and see that he does not get sleepy, and send him back to school and tell the teacher. Today you would have a very expensive ambulance ride (running 1k now) followed by an expensive visit to the emergency room. A cat scan would be performed. Or in 9th grade I broke my arm falling off a bike, the physician set the arm in his office once again today a visit to the emergency room and 10k gone.Yes there are more slight possible problems that can be detected but the question is are they cost effective.
Also consider that for example high blood pressures top number used to be 100+ your age but today its 130. We know more we treat more so it costs more. Its not obvious however that we treat better.
This post is absolutely ridiculous. If doctors are overpaid, then what about actors, star athletes, lawyers (the scums of the earth), investment bankers, CEOs, and federal government workers with defined benefit plans.
Ever since wealth redistribution entered the healthcare scene, we’ve understood that giving everyone “Ivy League” health care is costly and unsustainable. So enter Medicare reimbursement cuts. The reaction this is greater volume. So now we are trying to fix the problem through modified capitation. The result is poorer quality. Those doctors who make lots of money will end up in other fields. America is aging, so the last thing we want are physician assistants performing CABGs.
One reason why our costs are so high in America is poor lifestyle decisions. When you are diabetic with end stage renal disease, spending more money will unfortunately not lead to better outcomes. We have more obese people than any advanced conomy.
Regardless, those European countries also have a huge problem with healthcare costs.
who defines what is “too much”?
who defines what percentage of the GDP is optimal?
If I sell t-shirts with pictures of dead rock-and-roll stars, it is considered manufacturing and a positive contribution to GDP. How do we define these things?
I have no answers – just asking.
save_the_rustbelt: “who defines what is “too much”?
“who defines what percentage of the GDP is optimal?”
In short, the people do. How that happens is a complex negotiation over time.
Speaking for myself, I think that there is something wrong when the main reason for bankruptcy is medical expense. (Maybe foreclosure will overtake that soon, though. ;))
There is nothing ridiculous about the post. We are over paying for procedures, meds, hospital stays, etc. that have less of a positive result. The poorer quality comes from this. Overkill from the specialists. Go back to proven procedures.