Understanding the Medical-Industrial Complex
Posted at 11 a.m. on Feb. 21
Time magazine has a must-read piece digging into the heart of the US health care industry, examining where the money comes from, where it goes, and why.
“When we debate health care policy, we seem to jump right to the issue of who should pay the bills, blowing past what should be the first question: Why exactly are the bills so high?… Taken as a whole, these powerful institutions and the bills they churn out dominate the nation’s economy and put demands on taxpayers to a degree unequaled anywhere else on earth. In the U.S., people spend almost 20% of the gross domestic product on health care, compared with about half that in most developed countries.”
“We’re likely to spend $2.8 trillion this year on health care… about $800 billion will be paid by the federal government… That $800 billion, which keeps rising far faster than inflation and the gross domestic product, is what’s driving the federal deficit… This is what’s increasingly burdening businesses that pay for their employees’ health insurance and forcing individuals to pay so much in out-of-pocket expenses.”