Excerpts from a Washington Post article.
We see our institutional decline in the persistence of a health-care system that continues to cost twice as much as in other countries while delivering some of the worst health outcomes in the industrialized world. The reasons are not seriously in dispute: (1) too much care that is unnecessary and too little of the kind that keeps people healthy, and (2) corporate profits and medical salaries that are higher than necessary to attract talent and incentivize investment and innovation.
For decades, opposition from special-interest groups prevented anything from being done. When it finally was — Obamacare — most of those same interests used everything within their power to make sure even this modest reform would not succeed.
Economists Anne Case and Angus Deaton recently calculated the direct cost of all this overspending at about $1 trillion a year, or $8,000 for every household in the country. The indirect costs, in terms of lost output due to preventable death and illness and lost sales on global markets because of excessive labor costs, surely add hundreds of billions more.
Yes, there is unnecessary health care, up to 25% by some estimates, but try and tell that to the average person or the politician who wants to make health care free with no financial incentive to give a hoot what health care costs.
Corporate profits and medical salaries? Questionable. Presumably the profits part refers to pharma and insurance. However, prescriptions are only about 10% of all spending and insurance profits are not health care, but a small portion of premiums.
Not sure what medical salaries are referred to, but most doctors are not overpaid and even high salaries for executives in the field are still a small part of all costs.
The key is unnecessary care, our health status and life styles.
That crack at worst health outcomes is misleading. That is true in limited areas, but it also reflects factors beyond our health care system, our obesity rates being one.