Lets go back in time.
Social Security and Medicare were both very small taxes when they started back in 1965. They were designed such that essentially no one was ever supposed to use them. Social Security made the retirement age 65. At that time the average life expectancy was only 63 years. Look, there’s that thing called math again and its law of averages. The idea was that most people wouldn’t even make it far enough to retire and therefore, wouldn’t need a dime from Uncle Sam. Then along came a spider. America’s biggest strength – innovation. Advances in the medical industry from new technology and medicinal practices have changed the world. A world where diseases are no longer simply terminal but chronic; rampantly chronic and expensive. Not dying from disease is expensive. These technologies and practices cost money – a lot of money!
In short, we’ve gone from expecting that you won’t live long enough to benefit from SS and Medicare, to, not only will you use it, but you will use it for 15-20 years. Average life expectancy is now 78 years. That’s a 15 year increase over the last 45 years; not bad Doc. Unfortunately the monetary policy we have in place to pay for you and your brilliance will have to change as a result of this.
..And so will the doctors. Currently for every 1 doctor there are 4 administrative staff of some kind (nurses, secretaries, managers etc.). What this amounts to is on average a doctor’s practice must either see 30 patients a day or charge huge rates for care to turn a profit. This is for “the best health care in the world.” O really? Let me disprove that with a little math – this may disturb you. Assuming an 8 hour day. 8/30 = .26 hrs/ patient. That is 15.6 min / patient. For this kind of care you pay a 30 dollar co-pay and some other amount from each one of your paychecks. For 15 min and a presciption recommendation, if you’re lucky? To me, that sounds like something you would find in Soviet Russia. Yet, it’s the best in the world?
So, if you’re a healthy person and you go to the doctor twice a year for general preventive maintenance, no meds or anything, going by the national average of $2853/yr spent on healthcare you are paying $2853/ .52 hrs which equals $5486/ hr! For Dr. advice, assuming all of that money was for the Dr.
You want to reform something? Reform that!
***This article excludes the effects of our new technologies that have made us lazier, food companies dumping high fructose corn syrup in everything, the popularity of smoking, lack of role models, the increased irresponsibility of US citizens, the absence of public transit and for that matter daily excersize etc. I bring this up because 110 million chronicly ill US citizens didnt just pop out of the woodwork. ***