Health Care Wrap-up

To listen to the lecture, click here.

Health care is important. We spend 15 % of our GDP on health care.

Roughly 45 percent of health care spending comes from private insurance, 40 percent from government, and 15 percent out of pocket.

Compared with 30 years ago, big increase in number of specialists and in the use of new technology--premium medicine

Government insurance is strained by demographics and premium medicine.

Employer-provided health insurance is strained by premium medicine and high turnover of employees.

Three goals: continue to allow people to get health care as needed; insulate individuals from the cost; and reduce total spending

Cannot achieve all three!

If you want to insulate individuals from cost and reduce total spending, enact a national health care budget and ration care. People will sometimes be denied access.

If you want to allow people to get health care as needed and insulate them from the cost, then maintain/expand fee-for-service health insurance. But then total spending will go up.

If you want to allow people to get health care as needed but hold down total health care spending, then change from insulation to insurance.

Why is health care something that we want/expect others to pay for, but will not pay for ourselves?