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.
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Saturday, April 30, 2011

Growth In Health Care Cost Not Controlled By Universal Care

An interesting graph of cost increases per person in Switzerland, UK, US, and Canada.

During the health care reform debate, rising costs in the US were a big selling point; we need to change the system in order to reduce inefficiencies and unnecessary care, making health care cheaper for us all....and universal care with regulatory oversight by the government would accomplish that.

So, it's interesting that when you look at cost increases in other countries that manage their health care system, you see the same increases, and more volatility.

Caveat:  this is not total cost per person.  We still lead the pack there.

Switzerland has some element of market-based care, Canada is experimenting with a few market-based initiatives, and the UK has essentially a government-run system.  So, this represents a decent cross-section of different systems.

And cost fluctuates in them all.  The difference is that in the US costs are addressed by controlling demand (hence the popularity of catastrophic insurance coverage:  you pay cash unless something big happens) while the others control costs by reducing supply (increased waiting times for expensive care, controlling whether expensive therapies are covered, postponing certain services).

I can only conclude that the promise to lower costs in this country was...speaking diplomatically...misleading.

Doc D

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