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Thursday, October 16, 2008

So we're 29th in infant mortality...

is that a big deal? Guess not, by the reaction of everybody (the media, the two presidential candidates, President Bush, Congress).

I think it was in 1960 that we ranked 12th in the world. We've dropped 17 places in 48 years. And we outspend the average industrial nation by (drum roll ...) 100 percent! Double!

Here's my take on this. The fact that we spend double and still drop back in the pack with regards to health care is not unrelated. Should we spend more? How much more?

The thing is, we should be spending less. We spend more and ipso facto we get less. The two factors are not unrelated, in fact they are inversely related. The more we spend the less we get. Why? Because the money that we inject into the system goes to fund insurance companies, stock dividends, CEO salaries, etc. The more the insurance companies proliferate, the less care we get. Insurance companies are in the business of not helping us, but instead helping their stockholders and the managers of the companies. The less care that they have to pay for the more money they get. Simple really.

If we eliminated all but one health care company (or simply converted everyone to Medicare) we'd save gazillions of dollars. Our per capita spending would be cut in half, aligning our care with the rest of the world. Unfortunately the insurance companies would be out of business and no more dollars would flow toward Capitol Hill. And what would the insurance lobbyists do?

Well, who really cares. No, really--who really cares?

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