January 19, 2006
Dave Schuler has a list of things he doesn't care about, and why. I agree with every word except for the bit about health care costs. (The problem isn't the insurance companies, but that insurance is not paid for by the insured, by and large. My health insurance is relatively cheap, but that's because I have to completely pay for it myself, so I get what I need and no more. If that were the case by and large, we would likely have a rational and affordable health care system.)
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When you divide up the health care dollar, the pie divides up something like (in decreasing order of importance)
Optimization theory says that you go after the biggest pieces first. Salaries and insurance account for something like 60% of the total pie. Health care costs are rising at between 2% and 6% faster than the non-health care rate of inflation.
We can't ignore the problem because of the huge commitment we've got in Medicare, Medicaid, and health insurance guarantees to pension recipients. It dwarfs the Social Security commitment (and you saw how far we got with that one).
Posted by: Dave Schuler at January 19, 2006 3:58 PM
Before I comment on that, I'd like to know what the actual numbers are, and in particular what "insurance" represents in the list. Do you have a citation where I can get more information? If not, I'll look for one tomorrow.
Posted by: Jeff Medcalf at January 19, 2006 10:11 PM