The Hidden Costs of Health Care

Posted on July 22, 2009. Filed under: Affordable Health Care, Health Care Costs, Health Care Reform |

The New York Times this morning points out the hidden costs of health care in an article called “Challenge to Health Bill: Selling Reform.” Among the highlights:

“Our health care system is engineered, deliberately or not, to resist change. The people who pay for it — you and I — often don’t realize that they’re paying for it. Money comes out of our paychecks, in withheld taxes and insurance premiums, before we ever see it. It then flows to doctors, hospitals and drug makers without our realizing that it was our money to begin with.”

“… health care will cost the typical household roughly $15,000 this year, including the often-invisible contributions by employers. That is almost twice as much as two decades ago (adjusting for inflation). It’s about $6,500 more than in other rich countries, on average.

“We may not be aware of this stealth $6,500 health care tax, but if you take a moment to think, it makes sense. Over the last 20 years, health costs have soared, and incomes have grown painfully slowly. The two trends are directly connected: employers had to spend more money on benefits, leaving less for raises.

“In exchange for the $6,500 tax, we receive many things. We get cutting-edge research and heroic surgeries. But we also get fabulous amounts of waste — bureaucratic and medical.”

Read the whole story here.

–Posted by Cyndi Hughes

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