Monday, June 15, 2009

Is it Bad to Spend 30% of one's Income on Medical Care?

(UPDATE: Thought of after the fact and totally relevant. It is REALLY bad if you have not figured out how to get a government program funded by other people to spend it for you.)
The windbag addresses the AMA.
I have never quite understood the general obsession about the % of GDP spent on medical expense.
Going back to Marx and imagining a highly productive future, where else would the money be better spent? Assuming, of course, that the care were effective.
I DO understand a major concern about such expenditures in a domain of total moral hazard, like most major societies. In Canada it is VERY hard to vote (far more so than in most countries) with your own money in favor of your own medical care (unless it is on something the government considers medically unnecessary).
But in the US don't people still spend a lot of their own money on medical care? Why fret about how much they choose to spend?
Yes, I know they have a system dominated by insurance, like most countries, and that IS a problem.
But moving forward, is it right to have a total focus on cutting spending?
Of course, with what is likely his goal, controlling it all through HIM, it is likely VERY important.
I think the most charming thing in his speech is the focus on preventive care - of course that will solve everything. Of course, at the same time he prates on about the comparative effectiveness regimes, and there is NO evidence that preventive medicine will save a cent.
I SO hope that the US will make some stupid decision (whatever they pick will be stupid) on this just so we have to stop hearing him and his ignorant pronouncements.
Ah yes - he just suggested I ask my doctor about what risk factors to avoid. I think I'll ask Gary Taubes instead.
Oh Great! He is offering "Wellness Programs". I can hardly wait for the spillover to Canada.
And now he is promising to judge the quantity of care versus its quality. What an arrogant little joke.


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