Monday, January 18, 2010

Chart of the Day

American healthcare is among the world's best. Claims about the number of uninsured are wildly overstated. Cost control concerns have some validity, because -- as with European-style socialized medicine -- the system's greatest flaw is simple: free goods are over-used. Veronique de Rugy starkly depicts American consumers' declining responsibility for medical care:

source: The American

As she observes:
In 2008, consumers were only directly responsible for 11.9 percent of total national healthcare expenditures, down from 43 percent in 1965, according to new data from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This means that someone other than consumers pays roughly 88 percent of all healthcare costs, giving consumers little incentive to mind costs and much incentive to over-consume. . .

Much of the rationale behind the current reform of the healthcare system is about controlling inflation in healthcare costs. However, based on the trend presented above, a better alternative to the semi-nationalization that the president has in mind would be to increase individual responsibility for medical decisions and costs. When people aren’t exposed to the true cost of their care--even if they pay for it in foregone wages and higher taxes--they consume more.
Agreed--instead of Obamacare, we should sever the link between health insurance and employment.

(via The Corner)

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