Friday, August 21, 2009

Now for something complety different-we should spend more on health care

"We are not spending enough of health care" is the point made by economist Mark Perry (economist at the University of Michigan) and the WSJ. See here for Dr. Perry's blog and see here for the WSJ article by Craig Karpel.

Here are some snippets:

The 2.4 trillion spent on health care in the United States is not buried in the ground but paid to other Americans.One man's cost is another man's stream of income. This is a basic economic fact that we take for granted in every area except in health care. I believe Uwe Rheinhardt asked the question "Why is it good when someone buys a car but bad when they buy medicine?" I guess part of the answer maybe because so much of the latter is paid for by the government.

In the midst of what some have labeled "the great recession" while hundred of thousands of jobs were lost the health care section actually added jobs to the tune of 19,000 in July 2009.

About 400,000 non US residents came to the US for health care in 2008.

Economists Robert E. Hall and Charles Jones wrote the following in a 2007 article that examined the "optimal health care spending" in the U.S." (my bolding)

"Viewed from every angle, our results support the proposition that both historical and future increases in the health spending share are desirable. . . . [W]e believe it likely that maximizing social welfare in the United States will require the development of institutions that are consistent with spending 30 percent or more of GDP on health by the middle of the century."
( quote is from the WSJ article, I don't have the original citation)

1 comment:

Francois said...

I am a French Canadian... so you know my language limitations and social environment.
What is said here seems true to me and a good reason to put in the "YES" column in favor of Obama's health care reform.
However, to me, the first and most satisfying reason to put in the "YES" column is my personal satisfaction and proudness knowing that the poorest people around me are treated like me by doctors or in hosptals.
This means: 1- I accept with pleasure to receive less attention so the poorest has more and 2- I accept with pleasure to pay more income tax for the same reason.
I think sincerely that this helps making a more peaceful society as the rich get feeling less egocentric and the poor see at least some justice arond them.