What Is the Real Cost of Health Care?

Here’s an interesting question. What is the true actual cost of complete health care for all the people in the United States, together, annually?

I don’t know how to arrive at a reasonable estimate for that number. But it would be a very useful number to have.

Besides the left-wing aspects of the proposed health care that most of us strongly distrust, the major issue with the current proposals is the cost. Most of us want health care, and what we really want is complete health care, for the rest of our lives, cradle to grave, for as little cost to us as possible. If we had the estimate of the real cost of doing so, we could at least have a better idea of what it will cost us to achieve that universal coverage.

I phrased it that way, because a great many people think Obama is going to give them something for nothing. Maybe he will, but the fact is, the citizens of the United States are going to pay for whatever we get, one way or the other. We need to be figuring this as if it is a line item on our personal budgets. We MUST be able to pay for it as we go. If we knew for certain that it would bankrupt the country, would we still want it?

It may be much more expensive then advertised. It might not. Until we can compare the realistic costs of the new plan against the current costs to us, it is difficult to make a rational decision, at least on the cost issue.

Remove the lawyers, the government, and the insurance companies from the mix – what does it cost?

In a very real sense, we may have to face the fact that we just can’t afford universal health care, without limit, for everybody.

Does anybody out there happen to have some way to compute this cost?

ADDENDUM: The Center Square comments (thanks!) that the number is $2.41 trillion dollars per year, and rising. Wikipedia says there were 138 million taxpayers in the U.S. in 2007. Realizing there is some inaccuracy here, the cost is thus about $17,464 per taxpayer per year (and rising).

Note that these numbers are current. Wow.


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One Response to What Is the Real Cost of Health Care?

  1. The Center Square says:

    Now, it is about $2.4 trillion annually, and rising fast: http://www.kaiseredu.org/topics_im.asp?imID=1&parentID=61&id=358.

    That runs about 16% of our GDP, by the way. That is 50% higher than any other developed country (France and Canada are about 11%), and higher than ANY other member of the United Nations except East Timor. http://www.who.int/whosis/whostat/2009/en/index.html

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