Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Costs of Health Care

I'm a proponent of universal health care in the U.S. (reasons described in the comments section here). You can sum up my reasons as 'we live in the wealthiest (overall) country in the world and I do believe that health care IS a right of someone in a country with this much "wealth"'. However, there are obvious problems with any proposal at this time (one being the financial costs, but the other being politics). Rolfe Winkler details:

America’s obligations over the next 75 years now surpass $62 trillion, up 8 percent since last year. And a new report released today by the Peterson Foundation suggests that total will go even higher if the House’s health care legislation is passed.

With today’s pliant bond market, it’s easy to pretend we can have things that can’t be paid for. But that’s the kind of attitude that led California into the fiscal abyss. We have to get serious about bringing our expenses in line with our income. Now.

Unfortunately Republicans and Democrats alike are more concerned with winning elections than passing good public policy. Republicans told us “deficits don’t matter,” signed a prescription drug benefit for Medicare that created a bigger fiscal hole than Social Security, waged two very expensive wars financed with debt, and borrowed to bail out banks.

For their part, Democrats complain about the deficit they “inherited,” then proceed to expand the bailouts, pass hundreds of billions worth of “stimulus,” and try to increase our health care liabilities over and above already unsustainable levels.

  • Part A is hospital insurance provided by Medicare.
  • Part B is medical insurance to pay for medically necessary services and supplies provided by Medicare.
  • Part D is stand-alone prescription drug coverage insurance.
Source: Medicare Consumer Guide