Here’s Mickey “Goatse” Kaus on rising healthcare costs:
Ezra Klein warns that if nothing is done to control the cost of health care, in 20 years we’ll be spending 26.7% of our GDP on it. Is that all? I was thinking the figure would be much higher. … P.S.: I suppose it depends on what we get for 26.7% of GDP. But if expensive medical advances added a year or two to my life, I’d be happy to fork over a quarter of my income. Wouldn’t you? … P.P.S.: The Obamist Party Line on universal health care–that we have to scare everyone into thinking we need it to control costs–has always seemed ill-advised, given that we’ve never been able to control health care costs before. And it plays into conservative arguments that liberals really want to meddle in medical decisions and ultimately deny treatment. Now it turns out the O.P.L. health cost scare stats aren’t really even that scary. … Why don’t Democrats instead push to provide everyone with health care using the argument that … everyone needs health care? … Just a thought. …
Just so we’re clear, a single area of economic expenditure constituting 27% of our economy in 20 years is a-okay, three huge areas of government spending constituting less than 25% of our economy in 70 years is a massive crisis that must be checked, preferably with the system in question being destroyed and rebuilt, like an ancient Greek city or a collection of My Little Ponies once Starshine’s ass-sticker wears off.
I don’t know about you, but a private healthcare system soaking up more than a quarter of our money is a wee bit of a problem. Most rational people believe that a more stable universal system will control and reduce costs, particularly given the inflationary upfront costs to healthcare consumers under the current system (pay more money for a higher deductible and less coverage…have fun at the doctor!). On the current path, healthcare becomes the driving and dominant focus of private markets – America will become a country whose major focus is treating itself for illnesses, because we won’t have the resources to do anything else.
Kaus does raise a good point, though – since past efforts to control costs have seemingly failed, it must mean that all future attempts to control costs will summarily fail, because that’s how things work. If Mickey Kaus was alive in 1928, he would have been pooh-poohing a cure to polio, because the real story is that this Franklin Roosevelt character might be a cripple!