nos-trum. pronunciation: \nos'-trum\. noun. Etymology: Latin, neuter of noster our, ours.
1. a medicine of secret composition recommended by its preparer but usually without scientific proof of its effectiveness.
2. a usually questionable remedy or scheme.
See here for more discussion.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Healthcare Costs Accelerating? Well...No.

Contrary to popular belief the cost of health care, which, like everything else, is rising, is not growing faster than before.

I got this graph from the Kaiser Family Foundation.  Despite a bent toward universal health care, they are something of a gold standard for quality in their research.  They were the first to point out that of the 47 million uninsured, a significant percentage were already eligible under Medicaid but hadn't signed up, that another chunk were illegals, and that several million were wealthy and don't use insurance.

In any case,  here's the percentage rise in national costs for selected expenditures between 1996 and 2008 (the last year for which complete data are available).  NOTE:  these are percentage increases.  As you can see, the rate of increase has been falling for some years.

Benjamin Disraeli (I think) once said something to the effect that "by the time a crisis becomes apparent to the general public the concern has already peaked and is no longer critical."  (I'm paraphrasing greatly)

It goes without saying that this is all pre-healthcare reform.  Analysts are now saying the rate of increase will go up.  Makes sense when you add 30 million people to the system.
Doc D

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