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Sunday, December 27, 2009

How We've Been Screwed

You have to see this full size and let the implications sink in; please click to enlarge.

From National Geographic via Andrew Sullivan, who remarks:
If anyone can look at this and not see a simply insane way to distribute health care, a system so inefficient no socialist country could ever replicate it, then they have stronger rationalization skills than I possess.

Americans are being ripped off. The current reform will only move this line marginally, but it will begin that vital process - because it will almost certainly improve the health outcomes of the 30 million or so people who will soon have access for the first time to insurance. And its cost-control measures, pushing back ever so slightly against fee-for service medicine at a time of limitless healthcare potential, might help too.

What this this graph does do is show why the current system, while providing excellent care for many, nonetheless does so at crippling expense to everyone. Without the kind of reform Obama has initiated, there's no way this will get better. We should think of this health insurance reform as the beginning, not the end, of some public policy sanity. And conservatives would do better to help add more cost-controls than run around screaming socialism when the current system has failed so dramatically in any collective or economic sense.
A further thought.  Notice the chart includes "all public and private spending on care . . . [including] hospital infrastructure." Hmm. Well I would like to see the figures without that last bit included. Because hospital construction in this country is no doubt a lot more expensive than in some other countries: just stop and think about the real estate values in urban areas of the U.S., for one thing. So that distorts what we are really interested in, the amount people and insurers and government pay for health services and supplies, you know?

1 comment:

Mareczku said...

Oh my, I guess we really are not getting our money's worth. I hope that Congress can get their job done in regard to health care.

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