1. Over the past 30 years, U.S. health care expenditures have grown 2.8% per annum faster, on average, than the rest of the economy. If this differential continues for another 30 years, health care expenditures will absorb 30% of the gross domestic product— a proportion that exceeds that of current government spending for all purposes combined.
He lists great reasons why this is occurring, but the thing I would like to point out is that the "free markets" have not contained health care costs, as so promised by Newt Gingrinch and the AMA in 1994, as they squashed "Hillary Care".
2. Advances in medicine are the main reason why health care spending has grown 2.8% per annum faster than the rest of the economy.
I agree with the author's points (not listed here- see article). To expand further, we need to incorporate COST-EFFECTIVENESS into the CMS/Medicare approved drugs, procedures, etc. All a company needs to get approval from the FDA and for reimbursement from CMS is to demonstrate efficacy (often only compared to placebo). New treatments should be compared to standard of care and be evaluated by cost-effectiveness as well.
3. Universal coverage requires subsidies for the poor and those too sick to afford insurance at an actuarially appropriate premium; it also requires compulsion for those who don't want to help pay for the subsidies or who want a "free ride," expecting that they will get care if they need it.
This point is so critical. People think that someone else is paying for their health insurance in the U.S., and that health care taxes as they have in other countries would be crazy. Money quote:
When a firm pays $3,000 to $7,000 per worker per year for health care, it can get that money in only three ways: reducing potential wage increases, increasing prices for what the firm sells (which means lower real wages for workers everywhere), or lowering profits. During the past three decades, health insurance premiums have increased about 300% (after adjustment for general inflation). Where did the money come from for higher premiums? Out of wage increases that would normally accompany growth in productivity. During these three decades, the average worker has not received any increase in inflation-adjusted wages. Corporate profits, by contrast, have increased by 232% before taxes (284% after taxes), adjusted for inflation.
The most efficient, equitable way to achieve universal coverage is to make basic health insurance available to everyone regardless of income, employment status, family circumstances, or other characteristics and to pay for it with a tax roughly proportional to income or consumption.
People, stop being fooled! You are paying just as much or more for your non-universal health care as you would if we had universal health care. Think of all of the premiums, co-pays for visits and meds, uncovered costs, and the lack of increase in wages and then you might realize it. Also, health care should not be tied to your employment affiliation! How many people do you know that are working at a job that they dislike, just "for the health care benefits". Get with the program.