The Economic Insanity Of U.S. Healthcare

   Dave Chase, in Forbes, points out “that since the 60s, while all non-healthcare expenditures increased 8x, healthcare increased 274x.”  His point, is that bottom line obsessed healthcare providers will eventually be in big trouble if they don’t start paying more attention to their patients, and the role the patients play in their own healthcare, “with or without Obamacare.”

I get it.  The patients are responsible for themselves once they leave the hospital or doctor’s office.  What really strikes me is that jump in cost compared to non-healthcare expenditures.  8x vs. 274x.

Executive compensation might have something to do with it.  Forbes, puts the CEO of the UnitedHealth Group, Stephen Hemsley, at the top of the list of the highest paid executives in the country in 2011.  According to the magazine, Hemsley was paid $101.96 million.    For one year.

We’ve been told repeatedly and well by people who should know, that this can’t be sustained — that it will eventually bankrupt the country.   And still the costs continue to rise.  Health insurance was up another 9% in 2011.   And we pay what they demand.  We must, or face financial ruin when confronted by serious illness.

Free trade works well with some things.  But there are other things we must have.  There are services and products that are literally life or death, like healthcare, food and shelter and perhaps the cost of transportation.  With the world running on oil, big oil has us all by our throats, controlling the supply from the wellhead to the gas station.   Who’s going to go into competition with these multi-national business monoliths and undercut their prices?  You?  If families must choose between food or putting gas in the car, that’s a life or death situation.  Businesses controlling the supply hold all the cards.  All of them.  For healthcare, which amounts to about one-sixth of the American economy, a public option appears to be the only reasonable solution.   Unless you enjoy needless human suffering, walking hand in hand with the death of the American dream.

Don’t be fooled.  This isn’t about the Tea Party vs. the Liberals, or the East Coast Establishment vs. the Dittoheads.  It’s about the near-absence of a representative government on both sides of the aisle.  The absence of a government that watches over the interests of the many, rather than taking orders from the wealthy few.  Everything else is a smokescreen designed to hide the truth and maintain the status quo.

2 thoughts on “The Economic Insanity Of U.S. Healthcare”

  1. Your last paragraph hits it. Those elected seem to be incapable of governing or are fearful of doing so. The polarization of visions of what is right and wrong is leading the country on a dead end road. Recently, I was prescribed an elastic knee brace. I was directed to the convenient physical therapy section of the clinic to purchase the item. $109.00 for an elastic brace. I shook my head…and paid. I suppose the item could have been bought elsewhere for much less. I might have saved enough money for a tank of gas, or maybe a half a tank..Then again, maybe just enough for a quart of oil,30 wt.

  2. You completely overlook the obvious. A pound of potatoes or a loaf of bread is sustantially the same today as it was in the 60’s. Would you want to ration medical care today, to what was available then ? If that is OK with you, we could probably reduce the costs sustantially !!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.