If We Spend Twice as Much on Health Care As Other Countries, and the Government Pays for Half of Health Care Now….

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One of the often heard arguments for government health care is that the U.S. spends twice as much as other rich countries on health care and gets worse results. Try this thought experiment: Right now government (federal and state) payments already account for nearly 50 percent of all health care expenditures in the U.S. So if the goal of health care reform is to cut in half what we're currently spending, why not simply outlaw all private insurance and out of pocket expenditures? Problem solved, right? 

NEXT: Congressional Budget Office Projects Endless Federal Health Care Deficits

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  1. HEY! What made you pick THAT 50%!

  2. I thought the US had one of the best healthcare systems in the world. Do we really get “worse results” here?

    And is paying more for something as important as healtchare automatically a bad thing?

  3. “If you’ve enjoyed watching this half as much as we’ve enjoyed making it, then we’ve enjoyed it twice as much as you have.”

  4. That begs the question, do we need to change our entire system of government to that of one of those “rich countries”?

  5. The initial statistic is wrong, because it only takes into account legal payments. When I still lived in Slovakia, I had to pay through my nose in bribes to skip ahead in the wait list and to get a real doctor instead of a medical student to remove my appendix. Taking these payments into account, health care costs in the US aren’t that much higher than elsewhere…

  6. Thirty years from now:

    The problem with our system is that one agency reviews ALL medical expenditures and they don;t have the expertise. What we need is one agency to handle cancer, one agency to handle Ob-Gyn, another to handle communicable diseases…

  7. Jozef,

    Are you suggesting that even if the government controls everything, the wealthier will still have better access to health care? Next you will be telling us that megahealthcare corp will be able to make even more money by influencing the government.

  8. Ben Kenobi,

    Some say we get worse results. As the example I pointed out the other day, if you cut off your fingers or hand, you want to be flown as fast as possible to Louisville, KY to get them sown back on.

    Apparently, we do get better results here. The hand center at Jewish Hospital in Louisville is the premier site for that stuff. With many foreign-born doctors on staff, for some reason.

  9. If we really consume 50% of our lifetime health care spend in the last few months of our lives in a (usually futile) attempt to prolong that life, then we could save 50% of the nation’s spend by stopping that insane practice. I’ll sign up to be humanely vaporized when I reach that point.

  10. ” I’ll sign up to be humanely vaporized when I reach that point.”

    Where do I sign to have Nancy Pelosi vaporized right now?

  11. Draco,

    I will be ten years past time for Carousel next month, so no thanks.

  12. robc,

    Either ten or nineteen. In the book Carousel was at 21.

  13. SugarFree,

    Books, bah. In the city of domes, we dont read no stinkin books.

  14. Did you see the guy on The Today Show from Kentucky this morning? Way to confirm every stereotype, dude. Sheesh.

  15. SugarFree,

    Was it our governor?

    The Today Show? Im not gay. (I watched the 2nd half of the 1991 Citrus Bowl this morning before work)

  16. The argument, of course, is how the government makes that expenditure. It’s all ’emergent care’ and there’s no (chimeric) “preventive” care. And the system and prices are still dictated by the private sector so the government picks up those overinflated costs.

    Once we have price controls, all of this will be fixed.

  17. Once we have price controls, all of this will be fixed.

    It is change we need.

  18. It is change we need.

    And change is what you shall have! You hand over your dollar bills, and in return, you’ll get… some change.

  19. Once we have price controls, all of this will be fixed.

    Price controls can control outlays. You might check into their historical impact on supply, though.

  20. Price controls can control outlays. You might check into their historical impact on supply, though.

    This is the government that will be creating the price controls. Therefore, the impact on supply will be negligible.

  21. And change is what you shall have! You hand over your dollar bills, and in return, you’ll get… some change.

    I’ll vote for that one. All the other proposals I’ve seen seem to involve handing over dollar bills, then more dollar bills, then more dollar bills (and so on).

  22. Good one Bailey. God liberals and democrats are such retards. Can’t those socialist wannabes get the fuck out of my country and move to somewhere more to their liking?

    Seriously, get the fuck out; you have plenty of other socialist options to choose from.

  23. “Can’t those socialist wannabes get the fuck out of my country and move to somewhere more to their liking?”

    The parasites stick with where they think the fattest host targets are.

  24. Can’t those socialist wannabes get the fuck out of my country and move to somewhere more to their liking?

    Well they could, but then how would the United States be “punished”, how would it be chastened and reformed? The US is an evil country which exploits the rest of the world and steals its resources. It must be made to pay for its past wickedness. It must be brought down to the level of the third-world, brown peoples it feeds off – how dare it presume to rise above others. GOD DAMN THE UNITED STATES!

  25. The U.S. does NOT get worse results; when nonmedical factors are controlled for it gets the best results in the world.

    Yes, this costs more, but you are far more likely to get an MRI or access to a specialist.

  26. Some numbers.

    The thing to remember about the claims we get worse results is this: other countries do not record statistics the same way we do. For instance, life expectancies are pushed as much as a year higher in Japan just because of one factor: they have a much stricter standard for “live birth” so they record many fewer infant deaths. This issue has been acknowledged by the WHO in their perinatal and infant mortality studies.

    Additionally, the massive disparity in diagnosis has some non-obvious results in how mortality is recorded. For instance, our advantage in cancer survival rates is probably quite a bit larger than that shown in the link, because in other countries far more people die before they are correctly diagnosed, and of course such deaths aren’t included in their survival statistics.

  27. nice post..
    ___________________
    Britney
    Entertainment at one stop

  28. >I thought the US had one of the best healthcare >systems in the world. Do we really get “worse >results” here?

    If being #37 is “one of the best” then yeah the U.S. has one of the best health care systems in the world. Currently, the U.S. ranks slightly lower than the Dominican Republic and Costa Rice. U-S-A! U-S-A! U-S-A!

  29. Whoops make that Costa RicA!

  30. While it is true that non-health care factors (obesity, etc.) do affect life expectancy in the U.S., it’s worth noting that one of those factors, teen pregnancy, would be lower if the U.S. offered health care for low-income teen moms who otherwise don’t have health care.

  31. >The parasites stick with where they think the >fattest host targets are.

    I didn’t realize that wanting everyone to have health care qualified as parasitic behavior.

    Indulge in histrionics much?

  32. Chris, you have other options if you want socialism in action. Move.

  33. Statistics are not valid unless they favor the U.S. This is simply a fact. Therefore the simple, obvious, anyway-you-can-measure-it fact that the U.S. pays more for their health care than every other developed country must be false. And the absolutely verifiable fact that we get worse outcomes than these countries must also be false on similar grounds. Problem solved. Anyone who thinks otherwise is an idiot. Either that or they are anti-american. Either way they should be shot.

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