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Medical Care: A Monster that is Devouring the American Economy

From the Hillsdale College publication Imprimis, "A Short History of American Medical Care.

Excerpts: 

"In 1930, Americans spent $2.8 billion on health care—$23 per person and 3.5 percent of the Gross Domestic Product. In 2015 we spent about $3 trillion—$9,536 per person and 15 percent of GDP. Adjusted for inflation, this means that per capita medical costs in the United States have risen by a factor of 30 in 90 years."

"....So it is clear that there is something terribly wrong with how health care is financed in our country. And a consensus on how to fix the problem—how to provide Americans the best medicine money can buy for the least amount of money that will buy it—has proved elusive. But the history of American medical care, considered in the light of some simple but ineluctable economic laws, can help point the way. For it turns out that the engines of medical inflation were deeply, and innocently, inserted into the health care system just as the medical revolution began."


"....But it [medical care] has also become a monster that is devouring the American economy."

"Is there a way out?"

"One possible answer, certainly, is a national health care service, such as that pioneered in Great Britain after World War II. But our federal government already runs three single-payer systems—Medicare, the Veterans Health Administration, and the Indian Health Service—each of which is in a shambles, noted for fraud, waste, and corruption. Why would we want to turn over all of American medicine to those who have proved themselves incompetent to run large parts of it?"

"A far better and cheaper alternative would be to reform the economics of the present system."

Read the full article here.

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