It’s interesting to see a lining up of interests behind some type of health care reform. It’s amazing that it took so long for the business community to realize the need for a better way to finance care. This is another, but positive, effect of the “global marketplace.” I’m not partial to Schwarzenegger’s solution, it seems to advocate a jury-rigged Rube-Goldbergian (I’m dating myself) system of of financing care and little to improve efficiency.
The facts are that we already pay more than enough for health care for all and we need to do more than simply pay the asking price. Like purchasing a car we should look into costs and work to find the best price. This means eliminating administrative duplication; negotiating, negotiating, negotiating; tweaking the patent system to reward responsible patent holders and penalize those that gouge the consumer.
This from the National Coalition for Health Care:
“In 2005 (the latest year data are available), total national health expenditures rose 6.9 percent — two times the rate of inflation (1). Total spending was $2 TRILLION in 2005, or $6,700 per person (1). Total health care spending represented 16 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP).
U.S. health care spending is expected to increase at similar levels for the next decade reaching $4 TRILLION in 2015, or 20 percent of GDP (2).
In 2006, employer health insurance premiums increased by 7.7 percent – two times the rate of inflation. The annual premium for an employer health plan covering a family of four averaged nearly $11,500. The annual premium for single coverage averaged over $4,200 (3).
Experts agree that our health care system is riddled with inefficiencies, excessive administrative expenses, inflated prices, poor management, and inappropriate care, waste and fraud. These problems significantly increase the cost of medical care and health insurance for employers and workers and affect the security of families.”
Whether the flat earth people will have the sense and strength to alter our flawed system remains to be seen–but the pressure is building.