Thursday, August 24, 2006
Why is 16% of GDP too much to spend on health care?
It also made Gina Kolata sit up and take notice in Tuesday's New York Times. There is much to think about (and discuss in class) in this article, including this exchange:
Unless the current system is changed, most health care costs will continue to be paid by insurance, especially Medicare, which means that the taxpayers will foot the bill. But Dr. Fogel says he is not alarmed. Americans can afford it, he says, because the nation is so rich.
“It takes so little of household income to satisfy expenditures on food, clothing and shelter,” he explains. “At the end of the 19th century, food, clothing and shelter accounted for 80 percent of the family budget. Today it’s about a third.” Other economists agree. “We have to spend our money on something,” says Robert E. Hall, a Stanford University economist.