Hidden truths about American health care
Some hidden truths about the American health care system, lost amidst the noisy debate. At the end are links to other posts about our health care system.
- It’s among our most serious problems, the largest single component of the $70+ trillion government liability (including Federal, State, local). It will bankrupt us if not fixed.
- It’s the easiest of our major problems to fix, since we can learn from — or even copy — long-proven successful systems of other western nations (e.g., German, France, Switzerland).
- It will be not bankrupt us. We will fix it, eventually (as I said, it’s easy to fix).
- The solution probably will involve some sort of soft default. That is, the promise of almost unlimited health care to the elderly probably cannot be kept. As the boomer age in their vast numbers, some sort of rationing will become inevitable. Although unlike, perhaps even death panels — if we delay solutions until desperate measures become necessary.
- Most important: our inability (alone among the developed nations) to fix this problem illustrates the deeply dysfunctional nature of the US political system — which means the weakness in mind and spirit of the American people. Us. We must do better to survive — let alone prosper — in the 21st century.
Here are some valuable articles illustrating aspects of this problem.
- Vital information, from the OECD’s stats: “How American awfulness stacks up“, Left Business Observer, July 2009 — Ugly, but the numbers are what they are.
- Important information, vital to understand: “Overconsuming health“, Left Business Observer, August 2009 — In “1978, consumption was 61.5% of GDP; in the second quarter of 2008, it had risen to 70.3% (+8.8 points). Well over half that increase, 5.0 points, came from spending on medical care. The share of GDP devoted to spending on goods actually fell by 4.7 points over that 30-year period.” (Hat tip to Brad Delong)
- Best graphic for the day, with a brief powerful explanation: “The Cost of Care“, National Geographic, 15 December 2009 — International comparison of heath care expenditures nad life expectancy.
- Ugly numbers about US health care spending: “‘Big Government’ Health Care“, David Leonhardt, blog of the NY Times, 12 January 2010
- Dumbest post of the week, even among right-wing propaganda: “The High Cost of No Price“, Veronique de Rugy, 12 January 2010 — The rest of the developed world has equal or larger government funding of health care, and spends far less. The opposite of what her theory predicts.
Other posts on the FM website about American health care
- The American public is organizing and getting involved! Are we happy now?, 12 August 2009
- Important: Beginning of the end of the Republic’s solvency. Soon come the first steps to a reformed regime – or a new regime., 14 August 2009
- About the political significance of the conservatives’ health care propaganda, 23 March 2010
- The core truth about our health care system, 3 April 2010 – Comparing the US system to Canada’s
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