In eight minutes, you can master the topic of why the U.S. health care system is so darn expensive. John Green has done a masterful job of summing it up: it is not a simple problem there will not be a simple solution but he’s probably the biggest single drag on the american economy and it’s vital that we grapple with it meaningfully instead of just reading health care costs as political theater. For those interested in the eight minute version, you can view it at John Green’s blog site.
And for those interested in a two minute written summary, stay calm and read on. John skewers many of the alleged reasons for the high cost and explains how the public isn’t getting better quality health care for the significant premium that we pay. His main points are:
Because in the United States there are a number of insurers who do not have the leverage to negotiate as aggressively as other countries do with health care providers or drug manufacturers or medical device makers for lower cost services. We spend $500 billion more because of this loss of negotiation leverage that other countries use to lower their costs.
Because we end up spending about $90 billion more on the costs of insurance administrative costly paperwork in marketing and negotiating prices all of the health insurers’ services.
Salaries paid to doctors and to a lesser extent nurses are higher in the United States than they are in other countries causing us an extra $75 billion more than other countries spent on their medical personnel.