Friday, July 29, 2011

Health Care Costs and U.S. Debt

The current debt debate in Washington is bringing the issue of health care costs to the front burner again. Today we're spending more than $2.7 trillion or $8,650 per capita on health care, about $1 out of every $6 in our economy. In just 9 more years, by 2020, the figure is going to rise to $1 out of every $5 ($13,710 per capita) or 20% of our nation's entire Gross Domestic Product at $4.7 trillion.

Obviously our country simply cannot afford such a bill. It's not only medical innovations and an aging population that are driving medical costs up, but virtually every part of health care continues to escalate in cost beyond normal inflation. As a doctor at the Mayo Clinic said in a PBS special on health care a few years ago "As a society we simply can't afford to give everyone every medical treatment available." Some call that rationing health care. Every other industrialized country in the world calls that common sense, especially when the vast majority of costs occur in the last few years of life when the quality of life is the lowest.

Join in the discussion, it's your country. Call your elected representatives and let them know what you think, it's the only way they'll it. Later you can vote to hold them accountable!