Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Changes in Survival: The US in International Comparison

Linda Gorman dissects a study published in Health Affairs, which asserts (among other things), that U.S. health outcomes suffer from a lack of government spending!

I really enjoyed the straw man that Ms. Gorman quoted: “The findings undercut critics who might argue that the US health care system is not in need of major changes.”

I’ve been analyzing U.S. health care for a decade now and I don’t think I’ve met anyone who believes that it is “not in need of major changes.”

With respect to “choking off public funding,” I note that the National Health Expenditure data for 1970 show that 33% of spending was out-of-pocket, 29% was other private (mostly insurance) spending, leaving 38% to the taxpayer. By 1980, the proportions were 23%, 35%, and 42%. By 2005: 12%, 42%, and 46%!

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