Presidential Candidates Health Care Proposals; Baseline Data

In order to make sure we’re all playing on a level field and that none of the candidates try to play with the data, I am including the 2006 Census report for Historical Health Insurance Tables. This is the data that everyone is quoting that states 47 million Americans are without health insurance coverage. What no one is reporting is how our health care dollars are being consumed among the various groups. Let’s see if we can shed a little light on the subject.
Everything I report here is available from the US Census Bureau website, the CIA Factbook and a link to an article by a Canadian physician with his views on Universal Health Care run by the government.

Total dollars spent on health care for 2006 $2.105 TRILLION

Population of the US in 2006 296.8 Million

Average cost person for health care $6,700

Private Pay $1.1352 Trillion (51% of Total)
(private insurance, out of pocket, etc.)

Insurance costs $723.4 Billion
Out of Pocket expenses (consumer) $256.5 Billion
Other (non-government) $155.3 Billion

Population covered by Private monies 201.7 Million (67% of general pop)

Average cost per covered person $5,628

Government Pay $970.3 Billion (45% of total)

Medicare $401.3 Billion

Population covered by Medicare 40.3 Million (13.6% of pop)

Average cost per person Medicare $9,939

Medicaid (Federal, State and SCHIP) $569.1 Billion

Population covered by Medicaid 38.3 Million (12.9% of pop)

Average cost per person Medicaid $14,859


If there are inefficiencies inherent in the “system”, wouldn’t it make sense to go after the apparently most inefficient one (cost/person) first?

The government programs spend much more per person than do any of the private programs, AND cover less people.

The uninsured are actually covered by the private sector because as they seek health care, they may receive a bill from a hospital or physician, but they won’t or can’t pay it, so it gets written off as bad debt. The government has a fixed payment system, there is NO WAY for private entities to recoup any of these costs except through private, paying customers (cost shifting).

If you recalculate the cost per person for the private sector and ADD in the uninsured, the actual cost per person is $4,564.

ALL government programs are paid for with your tax dollars. Expansion of any government program will simply increase taxes or decrease deductions.

An article by a Canadian physician, Dr. David Gratzer, looks at the Canadian style of National health care from his perspective as a patient and as a provider. I recommend it as required reading for anyone considering letting the government run anything. Find it here.

Doc B

My opinion is free.
Advice is worth exactly what you pay for it.


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