American Consequences - September 2018


And I feel the same way about our family doctor in private practice. Although why our family doctor would be coming with us to Disney World, I have no idea. But you know what I mean. Q: Does America spend too much money on health care? Yes. No. Yes and no. America spends $3.3 trillion a year on health care. This is more than $10,000 per person and about 18% of GDP. Yes, this is too much health care spending – on you. You with your stupid toenail fungus. No, this is not enough health care spending – on me. Me with my terrible bad back. A mere $10,000 turns out to be not nearly enough to provide me with highly effective pain relief treatments. (Plus, to go with the highly effective pain relief treatments, I should receive the names and addresses of people selling opioids in my neighborhood in case I

run out on weekends. And a Narcan syringe. Or are those extra?) Also, consider the 18% of GDP. It seems like a lot, but the U.S. national debt is 105.4% of GDP. The 18% of GDP gets us health care. The 105.4% of GDP gets us... What? More debt. As if we didn’t have enough debt of our own. Like we need to get additional debt from the federal government – instead of highly effective pain relief treatment for my back. Q: Fine for you. But how come I’m paying a fortune for health care? You aren’t. According to the government’s National Health Expenditure Accounts, only 11% of health care spending is a direct out- of-pocket consumer expense. And according to figures from the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, average household health care expenditures are only 6.2% of pre-tax income including health care insurance premiums. By comparison, average household combined expenditure on “food away from home” and “entertainment” is 8.2%. We all know what “food away from home” means – pizzas and Big Macs. They’re making you obese. And most entertainment these days is, frankly, sickening. No wonder you don’t feel so well. Q: Don’t tell me how I feel. You’re no doctor. I feel fine. Except when I pay those health care insurance premiums. Don’t you admit that the premiums are sky-high for those of us who don’t qualify for government subsidies? I do admit it. And we need to fix that. It’s not morally or politically wrong (even from

"We have a great health care plan. Well worth selling the house to pay for."

8 September 2018

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