Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag has pointed out that “the single most important thing we can do to improve the long-term fiscal health of our nation is slow the growth rate in health care costs.”
Health care spending makes up one out of every six dollars in the economy and $700 billion per year is wasted on unnecessary or ineffective care. Furthermore, as the unemployment rate grew by 0.8 points in December and January, nearly 100,000 people a week or 14,000 people a day lost their health coverage, while the percentage of people who reported having trouble paying for needed health care or medicines rose from 18 percent in January 2008 to 21 percent in December. Evan the Business Roundtable pointed out that “Americans in 2006 spent $1,928 per capita on heath care, at least two-and-a-half times more per person than any other advanced country.” As National Institutes of Bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel said, “everything is affected by health policy, and every decision should be examined for its impact on health care reform.” Both America’s short-and long-term fiscal state depend on getting the outlandish costs of health care under control.
Source: The Progress Report, March 13, 2009