Center-left Washington is arguing with ever-greater ferocity that center-right Washington is mistakenly obsessed with deficit reduction. Part of the argument is familiar: 1. Low Treasury interest rates show markets unconcerned about the $16 trillion national debt. 2. As the economy continues to heal, annual deficits will shrink substantially.
USA health care spending increased at a faster rate than inflation in 2012, yet again; increasing 3.7%. Total health expenditures reached $2.8 trillion, which translates to $8,915 per person or 17.2% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
I'm still digesting exactly what this means for health care policy, but if the
growth in health care costs is being "driven by the number of treated enrollees
as opposed to the cost of treatment," is that a problem?:
In Hopeful Sign, Health Spending Is Flattening Out ? NYTimes.com. After my posts of the last two weeks which spoke to the growth of health care spending (link) and the coming-of-age of customer-driven health care (link), I was intrigued to see the same story break in the mainstream media, such as the Times article linked ...
“Federal spending for health care programs is growing much faster than other federal spending and the economy as a whole,” according to a recent analysis from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
We said as much in these pages when we reminded you that health care’s portion of the federal budget keeps doubling every 20 years or so. By now it eats up 25% of the budget. Will it really be 50% two decades hence?
The words of the late economist Herbert Stein come to mind: “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.”
Years ago, the World Health Organization came out with a ranking of health systems that placed the US 37th. Over time, there's been a fair amount of controversy over the WHO's methodology, and so the Commonwealth Foundation began a new project to assemble a comparative international picture: They chose seven countries and conducted deep, ongoing polls of both patients and health-care providers. The surveys test experiences with the system, cost questions, efficiency, convenience, health outcomes and much more.