2 Charts Show How Close The U.S. Is To Healthcare Collapse

Submitted by Patrick Watson of Mauldin Economics

The first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one. Some of us are in denial, so here’s a hard fact: We Americans spend far more money on health care than any other developed nation, but we’re no healthier.

We’re even less healthy overall.

The chart below shows the bad news. The horizontal axis is years of life expectancy. The vertical axis is per capita healthcare spending. Ideally, you want to be in the lower right quadrant. That means your population has a relatively high life expectancy and relatively low healthcare spending.

France, Japan, Spain, Chile, and a bunch of others are clustered in that area. Their money buys more health than ours does.

The United States is in the upper right, which shows that our per-person healthcare spending is significantly higher than that of the other OECD countries. Switzerland is a distant second place. Our extra spending doesn’t help us live longer. We actually die a little earlier than our peers in Japan and most of Europe.

You can quibble over details in this data, but the broad facts are inescapable. We spend too much on healthcare relative to the health it buys us. As long as that is the case, no reform plan will work.

Did Obamacare cause this? No. It goes way back. Here’s another graphic showing the changes over time.

You can see that the United States began diverging from other developed countries back in the 1980s. The gap has only grown wider since then.

Stranger yet, we spend all this extra money yet still leave millions of low-income citizens with little or no access to healthcare. Kaiser Family Foundation says some 2.5 million working Americans make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to receive Obamacare tax credits.

Brace Yourself for the Death Spiral

I showed you that data to say this: Simply returning to pre-Obamacare conditions won’t solve the problem. Obamacare exists because the system wasn’t working and we needed something better.

Before 2014, people with preexisting conditions were simply out of luck. They couldn’t buy health insurance at any price, unless their employers offered group health, which many didn’t. This was hurting both those people and the economy at large.

Obamacare, for all its flaws, at least tried to solve the problem. It helped some people but hurt others—and now it’s reached its limits. Insurance works only if the risk pool includes enough low-spending people to offset those with expensive claims. That’s Obamacare’s core problem. The legal mandate to buy insurance hasn’t brought enough young and healthy people into the pool.

This is the “death spiral” you hear about. People with serious illnesses will buy insurance no matter what it costs. This drives up claim ratios, which then drives premiums yet higher and discourages young and healthy people from buying.

That can’t work indefinitely.

Photo: TaxRebate.org.uk cc

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About the Author: Tyler Durden

  • Girls_club

    so… you were too stupid to understand my comment just above????? think about that comment a bit… then maybe you will get it!!!

  • Ronnie Bauch

    Sorry, John, you are clearly the ignorant one, in this case. True healing occurs when the body itself is stimulated in some manner to heal itself or when toxins or microbial impediments are removed or destroyed in order to allow the body and our immune system to then heal itself. Antibiotics do not “heal” anything. They kill bacteria, the good and the bad. Most pharmaceuticals do not “heal” anything. They mask or reduce symptoms and often create side effects worse than the issue they are trying to address. That’s the dirty and expensive little secret of American medicine. There are several major new books about the role of the billions of bacteria in and around our bodies and how they contribute to both our health and our diseases. 21st century medicine will based on better bacterial management, not just eradication. US doctors may some day catch up to many around the world, like those in eastern Europe who are working with bacteriophages that can actually destroy MRSA and other superbugs we have helped to create by the over prescription of antibiotics, and are now powerless to destroy. You can bet money that none of the fools who voted for SCROTUS will die from a terrorist attack, but most of them will die instead from an infection they receive in the hospital (if they still have insurance) while they were being treated for something else. Even many cancer researchers are finally realizing that they have been barking up the wrong tree for decades with their “genetic” approach. There was a fascinating story on 60 Minutes last year about how Duke University Hospital doctors injected tiny amounts of Polio Virus into patients to cure brain tumors, and it miraculously worked. The virus caused the patients’ bodies to recognize and attack the tumor and led to total remission without surgery, radiation or chemotherapy. This is exactly how homeopathy works. Of course the moron doctor, who knew nothing about homeopathy,thought, well if this tiny amount worked so well let’s give the next patient more. Of course the larger dose just killed the patients. In Europe, they don’t distinguish between a regular pharmacy and “health food” store. They carry everything and recommend what works. In Singapore, where they have the lowest infant mortality rate in the world and one of the overall best systems, the Minister of Health (I met her) spends most of her time traveling around the world collecting the best practices of every country. That ‘s how you develop an excellent healthcare system. I’m surprised you sound like these those Republicans shouting (in your all CAPS) about a medical version of American Exceptionalism. Our last election certainly put that concept to rest for a long time.

  • JohnDille

    so… you were too stupid to understand my comment just above????? think about that comment a bit… then maybe you will get it!!!

  • Girls_club

    And most diseases are caused by BACTERIA, VIRUSSES, or PARASITES.

  • JohnDille

    NATURAL HEALING HAS LONG BEEN THE MEDICAL STRATEGY OF MOST OF THE PEOPLE ON EARTH… WHICH IS WHY THE DEATH RATE WAS SO EXTREMELY HIGH!!! NATURAL HEALING WORKS GREAT… FOR BACTERIA, VIRUSSES, PARASITES… AND UNDERTAKERS!!!

  • Clemantine Noel

    The difference can be explained by the percent and amount of health insurer company profits!

  • Girls_club

    tx

  • Girls_club

    Bull Market Game Plan………..

    Calling stock market tops is a fool’s game.

    I love taking gains, but right now is not the time to do so.
    The market has continued to move higher, crushing the shorts and making many wish they were fully invested!

    Now is the time to be in the small caps.

  • JohnDille

    SO… IT LOOKS LIKE WE WILL HAVE TO GO BACK TO THE OLD DEMOCRATIC WAY OF TAKING CARE OF PEOPLE AND THEIR MEDICAL PROBLEMS…. CUT OUT ALL THE RICH REPUBLICAN MIDDLEMEN, AND LET DOCTORS AND NURSES DO THEIR JOBS, FOR THE BENEFIT OF ALL THE PEOPLE WHO NEED HEALTH CARE! WAY BACK THEN, HARDLY ANYONE HAD HEALTH INSURANCE, AND THOSE WHO DID, HAD BASIC POLICIES THAT COVERED CATASTROPHIC MEDICAL COSTS, LIKE THOSE ASSOCIATED WITH CAR ACCIDENTS AND ALL THE OTHER INEVITABLE MEDICAL PROBLEMS THAT PEOPLE HAD. THEN, MEDICARE CAME ALONG, AND DID THINGS IN THAT SAME WAY FOR THE ELDERLY AND THE POOR WHAT THEY COULD NOT PAY FOR THEMSELVES!! I BURST A MAJOR ARTERY IN MY FOOT, AND HOBBLED AROUND IN PAIN ALL DAY IN SCHOOL. THE SCHOOL CALLED THE LOCAL SHERIFF… BECAUSE MY PARENTS WERE BOTH OUT OF TOWN, WORKING, AND HE TOOK ME TO THE DOCTOR… WHO DID THE X RAY HIMSELF, AND APPLIED THE CAST, HIMSELF… AND HE CUT THE CAST OFF A WEEK LATER AND CHECKED MY FOOT… HIMSELF…. AND HE CHARGED MY DAD 12 DOLLARS FOR ALL THE WORK THAT HE, THE DOCTOR, HAD DONE. THAT WAS ALMOST 60 YEARS AGO… AND THAT WAS THE WAY MOST PEOPLE DEALT WITH MEDICAL PROBLEMS BACK THEN. NO INSURANCE NO BILLING AGENCIES NO INCOMPREHENSIBLE MEDICAL BILLINGS, NOT MUCH IN THE WAY OF FANCY EQUIPMENT OR MEDICINES OR BIG FANCY HSOPITALS OR CLINICS…. JUST GOOD COMPETENT MEDICAL CARE BY MEDICAL STAFF WHO CARED ABOUT THE PATIENTS… AND… OH YEAH… WHO CHARGED ENOUGH FOR THEM TO COVER THEIR COSTS AND TO MAKE A REASONABLY DECENT LIVING FOR THEMSELVES AND THEIR FAMILIES! ALL CONCEPTS THAT ARE TOTALLY ALIEN TO THE GREEDY RICH REPUBLICANS WHO AND CONTROL THE AMERICA OF OUR DAY!!! AND TO THEIR BRAINLESS GUTLESS PUPPETS, AS WELL!!!

  • Sugmag

    Duh!