Currently, we are spending 20% of our GDP on healthcare (4% for medicare, 1.5% for Medicaid, 14.5% for private insurance). This means that one out of five dollars is spent on health care. Insurance premiums have increased by 73% just since 2000 (currently the average premium is $10,800) while wages have only increased 15%.
I just read a brief interview with Clairborne Johnston, MD in the June issue of Neurology Reviews. He said, “Since 1970, there has been an 18-fold increase in the cost of health care in the US and per patient spending is expected to cost $12,000 a year by 2015. Despite this, there is almost no measurable improvement in health with the average life expectancy not changing much over the last century. At this rate, all GDP will to go to health care by 2045.”
Clearly we cannot spend ALL dollars on health care in the year 2045. Something will change before then. Here are some ideas that I have culled from various sources over the past decade of debate on this controversial topic.