Sunday, June 21, 2009

Do we really spend too much for health care?

Not according to this analysis, led to us by Greg Mankiw's blog.

A less serious view, here (with thanks to Nurse Ausmed for the reminder about this skit):


Mike LaChapelle said...

I think that the authors of this analysis are forgetting that healthcare is not a rational marketplace where the majority of individuals spend their own money on care.

If well-informed individuals could judge the quality and effectiveness of healthcare and paid directly for it themselves, undoubtedly their conclusions would be true.

Anonymous said...

There would be no problem if we were spending 30% of our income on health if we could get the best health quality indicators in the world.
the US ranks last among all developed countries in terms of preventable deaths and it is number one in health expenses.

It is like spending in 2009, $2000 for a old slow computer made in 1999.

Concerned MD

Karl Ortmeyer said...

It might be because we're too busy stuffing ourselves with calories and not getting out exercising at all that's lumped into "Preventable deaths." I guess everything is preventable on some level or another - but again, what have doctors been telling the public for years? Eat right and exercise? Good advice. My MD asked how I lost 17 pounds in 3 months - I responded "Just did what you said, ma'am."

America is about the fundamental freedom of being left alone. There really are no rights past that except for contractual rights (Such as the Constitution). Americans are not property of a sovereign (except God if you believe that, but that's another debate).

Taking these rights into consideration, if you want to stuff yourself with $1 McDoubles and Coke, and then driving for 5 minutes what would take 8 minutes to walk - then so be it, but the one fact is that if they have that freedom, then I don't want to be saddled with paying to fix other people's indulgences down the line. I'd rather have 7 extra hours a week than go hiking every day for an hour.

When the income tax was passed, it was 3% (yes, three, later ruled to be illegal). Excise taxes are the only fair ones (such as... a $2 tax on that burger and a $1 tax on that Coke), because you can avoid them. Eat a salad and drink water if you don't like the direction the government is going. If a gallon of fuel had a $4 excise on it, you better believe most people would walk.

... but I could be wrong.