Money in Healthcare

Here is a list of finance facts that have come by my desk in over the past two weeks:
– Congress approved $16.3 billion overhaul to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
– To continue the Medicaid “pay raise” to doctors after 2014, it will cost the federal Government $11 billion over a two-year period (the pay raise is to raise the payments to doctors, so doctors are not taking on losses each time they see a medicaid patient)
– In 2012 U.S. health care spending increased 3.7% to reach $2.8 trillion, or $8,915 per person – 17.9% of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) -Almost twice most countries
– The government spent $840 million on Healthcare.gov (the “Affordable Care Act (ACA)” website that hasn’t worked right)
– White House adviser Valerie Jarrett took to heart the risk insurance companies were taking on the ACA, and the Department of Health and Human Services changed course by guaranteeing payment for any losses they incur. (a bailout of insurance companies by taxpayer’s money)
– Individual health insurance policies in California increased between 22% and 88% this year, hitting younger people the hardest, and not effecting poor people who’s plans are subsidized.
– Front page story on the Wall Street Journal 8/5. Newly insured patients have used more health services than expected, increasing their losses.
– Inflation-adjusted net worth for the typical household was $87,992 in 2003. Ten years later it was only $56,335 – or a 36% decline. While the net worth of wealthy households increased.
– According to the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the Obama administration failed to properly account for how it spent nearly $619 billion, $543.8 billion of it healthcare spending.
– More and more hospitals are buying up cancer doctors practices, taking advantage of a federal loophole, making millions of dollars and skyrocketing the cost of treatment. Cancer medications can triple in price despite being the same medication, same patient, but different type of practice.
– Health expenditure % of GDP 2012: USA 17.9%, Australia 9.1%, Canada 10.9%, Denmark 11.2%, France 11.7%, Germany 11.3%, Ireland 8.1%, Israel 7.5%, Italy 9.2%, Russia 6.2%, England 9.4%

In Summary: healthcare spending is eating up way too much of our GDP – this is unsustainable. The middle class can’t afford their premiums (monthly health insurance bill) and deductible as their money doesn’t stretch as far as it used to. The current system is out of control and a huge burden, especially, on the middle class. If we continue this course, the current healthcare business is bound to crumble, probably taking a good part of the economy down with it.

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