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On Healthcare Expenses

A thought occurred to me while reading Thinking about inequality: Living by our desires rather than our needs by Trevor Burrus, over at Libertarianism.org.  If you read the article, it’s a great read on the subject of income inequality, but not to fear, that wasn’t necessarily the basis for this article, so don’t get confused as to how “A” met up with “B”, so to speak.

I hear an awful lot  about the ‘high cost’ of healthcare, and the great expense that Americans, compared to other nations, spend on this good.  (Note my lack of using the term RIGHT.)  This article should not be at all confusing the desire for good healthcare, and the desire for high prices, because they are not mutually tied, unless government is involved.  If I’m in a hurry I can go to McDonalds or BK and get a very good burger or other sandwich for only $1.  There are other examples but I will save those for you to ponder.

According to kaiseredu.org, Americans spent nearly $2.3T on healthcare (and its related overhead) in the year 2010.  This is a great deal of money, to be sure.  However, my question to those who decry this, (without tackling the overhead costs due to insurance paying for everything and education/licensure requirements limiting even basic doctoral access, among many other factors,) is this:

What else would you rather spend money on than the care of your LIFE?  Is a flatscreen more important to you than potentially having enough money to cover your cancer surgeries?  What about that broken leg you might get jumping off the steps to avoid the dog that just ran up them towards you?  You’d rather get extra time at the Knicks games this season, and next?

It appears our priorities have come to a stark and disturbing conclusion – your life is worth only what someone else will pay for it.

On another note: healthcare expenses have risen dramatically from the 50s, nearly 2000%.  The cost of government, however, has increased 3000%.  Government’s ability to rein in anything in terms of cost, is so ridiculous as to be criminal.


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