Thursday, April 17, 2014

Health Care Costs a Matter of National Security

There's yet another story today (here) about how far out of line with the rest of the world our health care system is and it's dramatic, sickeningly dramatic.

The conclusion of the HuffingtonPost piece is also alarming, if not at all surprising:

"Despite the persistent claims ... that America has the best health care system in the world, there's scant evidence that we're getting higher-quality medical treatment or enjoying healthier lives than our counterparts abroad. What's more, the U.S. still leaves tens of millions ... without health coverage, and will continue to do so even a decade into the implementation of Obamacare."

This has become far more than a simple matter of economics at its most basic. It is a national security issue. We are draining our wealth when there is absolutely no reason to, in order to make a few one-percenters filthy rich and a few others wealthy beyond reason, as well. All the while, the primary reason behind personal bankruptcy of our most important producers nationally is overwhelming health care bills.

I won't get into the specific examples here (the story does that quite well with charts), but I will say that the difference in costs between us and countries that have reasonable health care coverage at the government level would be laughable if it weren't tragic. I discovered recently that my $59,000 knee replacement last year would have cost $13,000 in Germany, the cost of the appliance here. That $13,000 included air fare.

The primary reason is that nobody's negotiating on our behalf, as is done with Medicare. We get lower prices that way. Europeans and southeast Asians pay a fraction of what care costs us and their care is consistently better. Even Cuba, for chrissakes, a Third World nation, has better outcomes than we do.

So what do we do? Elect Bob Goodlatte and Morgan Griffith to two more years each in the House so this can continue unabated, that's what. Oh. It's so damn sad.

1 comment:

  1. Hey,Inelastic demand argument is void in case of getting health care when you have an insurance. That's why you have insurance, so you are covered in case something happens - you don't haggle with the hospital. Problem is the insurance can get pretty expensive. But that's not because of you being in life-death situation. It's rather because there is limited competition on insurance market. And there is limited competition in medical profession created by AMA which keeps the number of doctors low.Thank you.....
    medical device consultant