Healthcare Reform’s Dirty Little Secret
Matt Strauss

This is essentially correct. Let’s put those number in perspective.

Taxes paid by individuals in 2015 = $1.540 Trillion

US Defense Spending 2015 = $598 Billion

Total US Healthcare Spend 2015 = $3.2 Trillion.

Healthcare 2015 spend in US % of GDP vs. OECD = 16.9% vs. 10.6% or 6.3% diff. In 2015 this equates to $1.193 Trillion in extra healthcare costs on a national level.

It gets worse. in 2015 10.5% of the nonelderly population was uninsured. So while we could almost wipe out personal income taxes if we spent more wisely on health care, we are actually paying even more per covered person than the per capita number indicate since the OECD countries cover everyone.

Mr. Fischer brings up tort reform. This is a likely cost driver. In 2008 it was estimated at $55.6 Billion, maybe it’s $75 Billion in 2015. Not a small number but not meaningful compared to almost $1.2 Trillion. A system built on the OECD model would likely deal with this cost anyway.

That $1.2 Trillion spending drag is holding down wage growth, built into the prices of our exports, and generally, a huge factor is our slowing GDP growth. I think most companies would love to jettison their healthcare obligations and pay a higher tax rate if it meant their total spend was lower by 38%.

Remember, these are 2015 numbers. They are all worse now.

I suggest we look at the competing OECD systems and a few more. Many of them are working really well from a service standpoint. Let’s steal their best ideas.

Data over dogma.

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