Detailed market commentary at The Market Ticker and Ticker Classics
(The Year 2012 In Review)
Donations accepted; we offer GOLD ACCESS for enhanced privileges. T-Shirts, caps, coffee mugs? Click here.
BlogTalkRadio - Mondays at 3:30 Central - Yes, TickerGuy has a radio show (kinda)
RSS available You are not signed on; if you are a visitor please register for a free account!
|MarketTicker Forums Single Post Display (Show in context)||
User: Not logged on
|User Info||Watch Those Lips Move! (Health Care Costs); entered at 2011-07-07 14:57:02|
Registered: 2009-02-28 DFW, Tx
I'm not computing what this guy says. I have seen bills in hospitals. I would venture the bottom 80% may average $500 a year max. Of course, I am leaving out the pills, which is the other half of the racket. Then again, outside of one trip to the hospital, I think I have taken 3 prescriptions in the past 20 years, a z-pack and maybe $100 on an anti-fungal drug I took 19 years ago. 17% of GDP is $2.5 trillion or roughly $8000 per capita. My bills over the last 20 years have been around $25,000 total. Maybe I am the lucky one, but I doubt most Americans have serious issues before age 55. One, maybe 2 years I was in that top 20%, if you count the ER scandal I have mentioned before here. |
If my guestimate is close, then we are talking about $120 billion for 80% of the population and $2.4 trillion for the top 20%. If you go to my average for the past 20 years, $1250, we get to $300 billion. Throw in $500 dental and that adds another $150 billion (I don't know if dental counts or not, so lets count it, the average for the entire population). This gets us to $420 billion. This leaves 60 million people needing $2.1 billion in medical care. That is an average of $35,000 per capita. Hear that from this jackass? No, we heard figures not much higher than this for the top 1%.
I don't believe my dental figures and the figures for the healthiest 80% are too low. If anything they are too high. You have to get something wrong with you to spend a significant amount of money on health care. My expenses were for a gallbladder operation that I may not have needed and a trip to the ER I probably shouldn't have taken. That was 4 years ago come September and I haven't seen a doctor since. I might turn up dead, but spending money fooling around doctors offices aren't any guarantees I won't turn up dead anyhow. I think most men stay away from these quacks as long as possible, though many go through the various tests they recommend after age 40. From what I have been told, some of these tests tally a significant portion of what is spent in the US. We may be paying for the client prospecting of the medical industry. Even so, I doubt these tests skew the bottom 80% beyond $1000, but then again, this may be part of the top 20%.
When I was a kid, I recall life expectancy being 70 years of age for a man. We hear over and over again about the wonder of modern medicine, the fantastic inventions of the past 40 years, but what have we received? 2 or 3 years, if my memory serves me correctly. How much of this has to do with environmental improvement? Most people were smoking back then or had smoked for a significant time period and quit. A much larger percentage of people were doing jobs that would probably shorten their lives. The productivity and safety of mining is much better today than then. There is a lot that doesn't relate to the medical industry that extends lives. Auto safety probably saves 50,000 or more lives a year and prevents maybe an even larger number of life shortening injuries. That one factor probably put 1/2 a year onto life expectancy since the 1960's.
I don't know what all counts as health care. Does Medicaid provided nursing home care go into the mix? Private care? If so, this figure is nearly as much as the figures this doctor spouted. Again, I narrowed the population into an 80/20 split and the worst year in my life, I didn't make the 20% average of $35,000. Do the math. Even if you double the $300 billion figure for the 80% to $600 billion, that still leaves $1.9 trillion or so for the 60 million in the 20%. This is still an over $30,000 a year average. If we are looking at 5 year averages for pools, you could have a moderately major procedure done during that time and probably still be in the 80%. My worst 5 year period, which included an operation to remove my gallbladder and the ER scam totaled about $25,000, which is less than the annual average of the top 20% sector I generated. The prior 10 years, I spent nothing, giving a 15 year average under the average figure I used. Even if one wants to debate this, they could say that I fell into the bottom 20% one year and wasn't there the other 14 or you could count the ER visit as another violation, but then again, I think that would still keep me in the 80% pool, figuring that is an average of zero to some figure, far from the $30,000 a year average.
I think this bare discussion, based on assumptions that I doubt on the broad pool are that far off. This split says we are spending about 20% of health care on 80% of the people and 80% on 20%. I think it is worse than this, maybe 90% on 10% and 10% on 90% in any given year. This makes sense too, because auto collision repair would only include those that had wrecks in a given year. I doubt over 10% of people have physical wrecks in a given year.
So what is the catch? If you have many water leaks that total 5000 gallons a day, I doubt you start with the faucet that drips 10 gallons a day. No, you go to the busted line. Not knowing, I would start with Pharmacy. My suspicion is you could cut $200 billion a year right there and there would still be plenty of profit. Maybe in return, the government could throw the Pharmaceutical industry a bone is subsidies for R&D upon application. But, I venture the fly in the ointment there is distribution.
The big deal, it appears to me is the high ticket items. The list that will or can be paid out of insurance should be narrowed. People that don't have money should have to go to government hospitals or clinics and we should keep these people out of the private system. There is a $1 trillion hole, minimum in the US system that has absolutely nothing to do with the quality of care.