Friday, February 5, 2016

No "Hillarycare" Did not Solve Our Healthcare Woes: Why do you Ask?

In the debate last night, Hillary Clinton gave the impression that Obamacare (she embraced it as "Hillarycare") took care of most of the problem. All that remains is some tweaking to improve it. 

Bernie Sanders pointed out we still have millions of uninsured persons, and we spend far more than Europeans and Canadians for poorer results. So healthcare must remain a very top priority.

According to this Kaiser website the number of uninsured is 32 million (2015). Obamacare brought coverage to millions, but the job is far from done. 

Sanders also reminds us that we spend much more per capita than Europeans. The chart below (OECD Health Data 2010) suggests Clinton's complacency is misplaced. 

This OECD data from 2010 suggest average life expectancy in U.S. is 78 years.  And we achieved this with a per person expenditure of ~$7,800/year or about 2.4 trillion. That was back in 2010.  By 2014, our health care spending rose to $3.8 trillion.  That is 21% of our GDP spent on healthcare.

By comparison Great Britain spends just 9.6% of GDP on healthcare--Less than half what we do.  And life expectancy in Britain is 2 years greater than in the U.S.

The U.S. is a huge outlier: we are horribly inefficient with our health care delivery.  How to fix this remains a matter of great urgency for our society and economy.

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