Great in the Sense of Great Costs
One of the more relevant observations is that “if something cannot continue, it will not continue”. Yes that does not sound like very insightful wisdom but it is something to remember when looking at health care costs. Thanks to Austin Frakt of the great health care economics blog The Incidental Economist we have a link to a set of serious charts that show the trends in health care costs.
One really only has to look at one chart on health care costs.
All the other charts say the same thing in a different way. Health care costs as a percent of income are rising. They have been rising for decades. The are expected to rise in the near future. But they cannot continue to keep rising; Americans simply do not have the financial resources to pay higher and higher medical costs.
So unless a way is found to increase rather than decrease the share of medical costs covered by government or more importantly a health care system is devised which will substantially improve the productivity of health care and lower and even reverse its growth trend in per capita cost increase then the prescription for the future of medicine is take two aspirin and call the doctor in the morning. Because that’s all you will be able to afford to do.