[ExI] More on US Health Care Costs

Samantha Atkins sjatkins at mac.com
Mon May 25 08:01:50 UTC 2009

It is not just a matter of "efficiency".  Under "efficiency" as the  
population ages and the governments eventually run health care it is  
logical to expect major rationing of care from simple economic  
reality.  This can have a very large negative impact on all of us,  
especially boomers.     I have yet to see an "efficient" government  
program.     What really needs to be the take home message is that  
only a moon shot level of committment to anti-aging medicine can save  
an aging developed world population from utterly blowing out budgets  
and condemning billions to needless suffering and death even at the  
point in history where many of the old "inevitable" sufferings of  
aging are beginning to be addressable.

We are not getting much longer life spans largely because almost zero  
energy is put into preventative medicine or getting the non-food if  
not outright poison off the grocery shelves.    It not a matter of how  
many people are covered or how efficient the system is or is not.    
Some of those "inefficiencies" fuel medical research that simply is  
not done anywhere else in the world as well.

The biggest true inefficiencies come when there is no feedback toward  
efficiency.  If I know my care will always be paid for where is the  
incentive for me to push for better prices and more efficient care?    
Where is the incentive to take better care of one's self if medical  
care is simply a given that "the system" somehow magically makes  
happen?   Where are the drivers to efficiency in that?

- samantha

On May 22, 2009, at 4:22 AM, Stathis Papaioannou wrote:

> This article is from Bloomberg:
> http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=newsarchive&sid=aykIuUrgXbWc
> May 21 (Bloomberg) -- The cost of health care in the U.S., the highest
> in the world, jumped 47 percent from 2000 to 2006, a study said. That
> didn’t buy Americans the longest lifespan.
> Americans paid $6,719 a person for doctors, medicines and hospital
> visits in 2006, up from $4,570 in 2000, according to a report released
> today by the World Health Organization in Geneva. The yearly spending
> is more than nine times the global average. With a life expectancy of
> 78 for a person born in 2007, the U.S. trails at least 27 other
> countries among 193 in the report.
> The cost of health care is at the center of a debate over overhauling
> the U.S. insurance system. The U.S. pays too much for individual care
> and doesn’t cover enough people, said President Barack Obama on the
> campaign trail and more recently to an audience in Rio Ranch, New
> Mexico, on May 14. He said he wants to extend coverage to 46 million
> who don’t have insurance.
> The U.S. has “the least efficient health care system in the world,”
> said Kevin Schulman, director of the health management program at Duke
> University in Durham, North Carolina. “These costs keep growing
> despite the recession, and health care is going to shoot up as a
> percentage of our GDP even more. It’s just spooky.”
> -- 
> Stathis Papaioannou
> _______________________________________________
> extropy-chat mailing list
> extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org
> http://lists.extropy.org/mailman/listinfo.cgi/extropy-chat

More information about the extropy-chat mailing list