Health Care in the News

There was a piece on NPR about balancing the budget and how Medicare alone is 12% of the federal budget, or $500B dollars.

$500B dollars… that works out to about $16,000 dollars per US citizen per year. [I apparently entered an extra 0 plugging that into the calculator, which brings the calculated figure down to about $1,600 per citizen per year and makes this whole post a fine example of garbage-in-garbage-out. — WRE] I figure the full cost of the pretty decent health insurance I have is less than $12,000 per year. I checked Wikipedia to see if I could get some figures for how much many the health industry goes through in a year. While I didn’t see that, I did see a sentence about how various people have noted that the summed amount the federal government pays in health programs could entirely fund needed health care for the whole population.

It seems like we could, if we worked together to fix it, provide a way to get health care to everyone without paying out any more than we do now. If the health providers in this country got $16,000 per citizen for each and every citizen every year and could plan on that, I don’t think that we’d have to have arguments about pre-existing conditions, age-based rate structures, and the like. I don’t think that quality of care would be diminished, either. In fact, stability in funding streams should improve quality of care.

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Wesley R. Elsberry

Falconer. Interdisciplinary researcher: biology and computer science. Photographer. Husband. Christian. Activist.

2 thoughts on “Health Care in the News

  • 2010/12/02 at 5:37 am

    I think you are out by an order of magnitude. I make 500 billion divided by 300 million to be 1,600.

    When assessing the efficiency of medicare bear in mind that it is paying for people over 65. The cost of medical care for this age group is far more expensive than average whatever the system.

  • 2010/12/02 at 5:59 pm

    Crud. You’re right. $1,600 per year isn’t enough to do the job. I’ll have to add a “Never mind” to the post.

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