Monday , 24 October 2016

Healthcare Is Dooming the U.S. Economy – Here’s How

As it stands now, U.S. healthcare will bankrupt the nation and doom it to permanent stagnation and recession as crystallized in these 3 charts showing:

  1. the rising cost of U.S. healthcare vis-a-vis GDP growth is far outstripping our ability to pay for it.
    • Other advanced nations pay for universal healthcare with 8%-9% of their GDP, where the U.S. spends 18% of GDP on less-than-universal healthcare. How do other advanced countries provide healthcare for all for less than half of what America spends per person (per capita)?
  2. the runaway growth of healthcare costs is brought about by:
    • The cartel/crony-capitalist structure of U.S. healthcare
    • Defensive medicine to stave off litigation
    • Profiteering from needless or ineffective tests, procedures and medications
    • Fraud and overbilling
    • The concentration of expenditures in a small sector of the population
    • America’s inability and/or unwillingness to have an adult discussion over end-of-life care for the elderly
  3. the annual per capita healthcare cost by age in the U.S. skyrockets for the elderly compared to that of other countries.
    • 20% of the costs are spent on 1% of the populace, typically elderly people with multiple chronic lifestyle-related diseases. 50% of the total costs are spent on the top 5% of high-use individuals.
    • Is medical care that different technologically in the U.S. and Sweden, or is it the difference between a system that is rational and one that is based on extracting the maximum profit from delivering whatever the government will pay for?
The above comments (and those below) are edited excerpts from an article* by Charles Hugh Smith ( originally entitled How Healthcare Is Dooming the U.S. Economy (Three Charts).
The majority of U.S. healthcare spending is not productive; it is a drag on productivity. As it stands now, U.S. healthcare will bankrupt the nation and doom it to permanent stagnation and recession.
As healthcare expenditures rise, real sales stagnate and the economy cascades into recession.
It’s our choice: live with a bankrupt system built almost entirely of perverse incentives, or begin an adult discussion about a system that delivers responsible care to the elderly in line with other advanced nations, but at a fraction of the current cost.
*Original Source:
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The cost of basic (and not so basic) health insurance in the U.S. is BY FAR the most expensive in the world, and certainly among its “wealthy-nation” peers, yet, while It would be logical to think that, as a result of this premium, the quality of the healthcare offered would be among the best, if not the best, in the world. Unfortunately, that would be wrong and, in fact, the reality is the complete opposite. Read More »