As tracked by the Healthcare Afford-O-Meter at www.healthrace.net
And the news is not pretty.
According to the Healthcare Afford-O-Meter, May 9 is the symbolic day America crossed the $1,000,000,000,000 mark in healthcare spending, based on full-year 2012 projections by the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.
That $1 trillion equates to about what the Dartmouth Institute and others would estimate as this year’s U.S. healthcare spending waste.
“We need to get at that deeper waste,” said Scott Forslund, director of strategic communications for Premera Blue Cross, author of the healthcare blog www.healthrace.net and the Healthcare Afford-O-Meter. “But the first order of business is to stop getting worse.”
And the United States is getting worse.
“Based on current projections, healthcare spending continues to rise faster than overall inflation, crowding out the family budget and cannibalizing the broader economy,” Forslund said.
If America’s healthcare spending rose no faster than first-quarter estimates of general inflation, this year’s healthcare spending would be an estimated $24 billion lower already.
What can $24 billion buy? That’s what America spent to put a man on the moon. It’s what Canadian taxpayers spent last year on poverty. It’s what the whole world will spend this year on chemicals to create clean and healthy freshwater. It’s the nation’s entire cost for local fire department protection for the rest of 2012.
And that $24 billion gap only accounts for our excess in direct spending. It does not account for interest on the federal debt paid to cover healthcare spending beyond our national means.
More details about the Healthcare Afford-O-Meter are found at www.healthrace.net.
Premera Blue Cross
Scott Forslund, 425-280-1653
Director, Strategic Communications
KEYWORDS: United States North America Washington
INDUSTRY KEYWORDS: Health Public Policy/Government Healthcare Reform Public Policy White House/Federal Government Professional Services Insurance General Health