Monday, July 06, 2009

Spending More, Paying More and Getting Less

As spending accelerates to "stimulate" health care reform, hospitals are taking steps to cut back to promote "efficiency" while limiting patient access. Meanwhile, the "bluest" of Democratic states look like they'll be funding more of the health care tab through higher-than average tax increases.
Illinois ranks among the top 10 states with residents most likely to pay more in taxes if deductions were limited, with 1.7 percent of taxpayers possibly vulnerable to higher taxes, Citizens for Tax Justice data show.

The state also ranks above the national average in the cost of its employer-provided health care plans. Nearly 47 percent of people with family plans would face taxes under an Economic Policy Institute study, compared to 41 percent in the nation overall.

So Illinois residents as a whole might be expected to pay more in taxes under a Democratic health-care plan. About 13.7 percent of Illinois residents lack health insurance, compared to 15.3 percent nationally, according to data compiled by the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, which studies health insurance trends.
Me thinks the divide in the Democratic Congress is about to grow more contentious.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Same old, same old, etc.

Every 10 years or so the debate comes up about spending more,paying more and getting less; so the only new point is who gets covered. But spending more and getting less probably won't change.

The problem is cost and value and nobody so far has segmented costs, which the President says is the problem.

So lets take two about equally high segments of cost: physicians and pharmaceuticals, both about 10% of healthcare costs.

Physicians in the US make about what those in Europe do [those in the UK make somewhat more on average]. Drugs on the other hand, as most everybody knows cost US consumers a third more than Canada and twice as much as in Europe. Because these other countries all have single payer systems they pay based on what each country can afford, while in the US each consumer pays what their coverage requires.

What the US consumers don't know is that the US Government pays the average prices of drugs in Europe while private consumers pay "list price" which is twice that amount.

The President has promised to remove the legislation that keeps the US drug supply at twice the "World average" but we haven't heard much about this since his election.

The strangest part of this is that the US drug supply is mainly produced elsewhere in the World taking good jobs overseas along with a large portion of tax revenue. So if you want a cost decrease of about 5% overall, a fast way to do this is for the President to keep his promise of removing the Drug Reimportation Act.