Healthcare: Americans are paying more for less

  • The American healthcare system is a hellish tangle of bureaucracy, with various  inefficiencies and injustices.
  • A sensible healthcare system would have done something about for-profit drug companies who continually raise prices.
  • America already pays enough to fund two generous universal healthcare systems for its citizenry.

Despite the strongest economy in at least 20 years, life expectancy has declined on average for the third straight year — which has not happened since World War I and the 1918 flu pandemic.  Why the increase?  Most of it can be attributed to an increase in suicide, but there are other factors as well.

The first is the typical cost of health care for a family of four on an average employer-sponsored plan, taken from a Milliman Research Report. It has increased almost $5,000 just from 2014 to 2018, to $28,166 (healthcare costs have exceeded income growth by a long shot for decades).

The second is what is being bought with that increased money. Despite the huge increase in spending, the answer is less health care for everything except prescription drugs. Sky rocketing costs have pushed people away from treatment — especially in patient care, which declined by nearly 13 percent from 2012 to 2016.

These two trends paint a decent broad-strokes picture of what’s happening: Americans are paying more for less . We are pitilessly soaked for health care — worse than any other country, by far — and getting steadily less actual treatment for our money.

Our healthcare system, as it stands now, is unsustainable.  Drug companies continually raise prices and health insurance is so bad that companies are now banding together to possibly form their own health insurance coverage.   I personally believe that the law prohibiting the government from negotiating Medicare prices with drug companies is going to be challenged and overturned.

I have heard some brave healthcare CEO’s talk about impending changes, but they are a minority.  By the time the changes are forced on the industry, most of the current CEO’s will have left with golden parachutes that ensure they never have to work again or worry about their health costs.

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