Some Calmness Regarding Our ‘Looming’ Healthcare Crisis

From James Galbraith (boldface mine; emphasis original):

And, you know, if you ask me do I consider this to be the most important issue that we face, I really don’t. It’s an internal distributive issue. But if you ask me, would I rather have overpaid doctors and nicely, you know, overbuilt hospitals, or aircraft carriers that we don’t need or jet fighters that can never actually be flown, I’ll say I’ll take the doctors and the hospitals. I can see working on this issue, but it’s not going to be the end of American civilization if we continue to have a very large health care sector. In fact, quite the contrary. A very great economist, Paul Samuelson once said healthcare is fifteen percent of GDP, but it’s the best fifteen percent of GDP. And I think there’s something to that.

This seems to be the appropriate attitude, especially when we are faced with real, immediate healthcare problems.

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2 Responses to Some Calmness Regarding Our ‘Looming’ Healthcare Crisis

  1. I agree with the sentiment in regard to priorities, but unfortunately, our current system delivers the wrong care to the wrong people for the wrong price. We should agree that spending on health care is a good thing, but realize that our current system is crappy, even for the wealthy. Doctors and patients are going to have to be willing to give up a bit of control and allow for some national standards.

  2. 15% of gdp? And that is with half the country un- or under insured? So, really, it should be about 20-25% gdp?

    France kicks our ass on healthcare for a small fraction of that. Paul Samuelson is an ass.

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