The Fall of Health Care

The Fall of Health Care

Is Another Big ‘Housing Market’ Style Crash Coming?

It happened to the ‘’ world. Then it happened to the housing industry. Now, some experts are forecasting a cataclysmic crash in healthcare. Soon people may not be able to credit-card, mortgage, and borrow their way past their health bills. And if that happens, the healthcare ‘bubble’ could burst.

This should leave a question lingering on everyone’s minds: “what happens to America when citizens can’t afford to stay alive?”

What is comes down to is this: prices are rising faster than available money. It’s in the numbers.

  • Looking at the last 12 years, government healthcare spending has increased by about 240%. GDP has only increased about 60%.
  • Looking at the last 30 years, USA health spending has been growing about 2.5 times faster than the average worker’s income.
  • Today, the government spends more than 5,000% more on healthcare than in 1970.

If and when the healthcare crash happens, we’ll see a sharp decline in spending. Prices will plummet, along with revenues.

What do you think America’s business men and women will do when they see their revenues dry up? Probably the same thing any savvy businessperson would do: pull out.

Who Pays for Healthcare

Right now, only about 12% of healthcare payments come straight out of consumers’ pockets. The rest comes from private insurance and programs like Medicare.

That’s 88% of doctor and hospital bills. And that 88% is likely to grow in the years to come.

When it comes to private insurance, President Obama is working towards better financial efficiency with the most recent changes brought on by the Affordable Care Act: the Medical Loss Ratio changes. Insurers now have to spend 80 to 85% of your healthcare premiums on actual care.

Though, this change may be too little, too late.

Why Healthcare Costs are Rising

Any number of factors can contribute to prices going up, but a big contributing factor comes from more people needing ongoing attention for chronic illnesses like diabetes, arthritis, heart disease, and stroke complications. Seventy-five percent of health care costs are link-able to chronic diseases.

All of those illnesses above? They can come from obesity.

Thirty-five percent of Americans are obese, and this number is going up.

Unfortunately for government healthcare spending and insurance providers, obesity is expensive. On average, obese people will need more healthcare money spent on them: about $1,400 a year more.

And as a whole, obesity-related healthcare spending in 2008 totaled $147 billion.

The Future

If we do see a crash in the healthcare industry, we could see a number of distinct reactions.

In the short term, we could see a sharp jump in bankruptcy. When people run out of money to pay their healthcare bills, bankruptcy is often the only option.

We could also see healthcare insurance premiums spike as insurance providers struggle to keep up with their care expenditures.

When it comes to government spending with Medicare and Medicaid, taxation may increase or assistance may decrease. Or both.

In the long term, it seems very likely that we’ll see a renewed interest in preventive care and healthy living. After all, it’s a lot easier to stay healthy than it is to recover when your health fails you.

But whatever happens, the numbers don’t lie. Healthcare spending is growing rapidly. More people are requiring more care, which costs more money than anyone has to work with.

When the housing crash hit, people probably told themselves “hey, at least I’ve still got my health.”

This time, the stakes are even higher.

The Secret Question that Controls American Healthcare

The Secret Question that Controls American Healthcare

When you think of the word “budget,” what comes to mind? Maybe it’s a spreadsheet you have at home to keep track of all the money going in and out. Or maybe “budget” means a schedule of what you can spend so that you don’t over-spend.

For lots of people, ‘budget’ means making decisions on what to buy and what not to buy.

Now, here’s the kicker. What if you were responsible for the “healthcare budget” of Medicare?

Do you pay for some people’s healthcare, but not others’? How can you make that decision when not paying for healthcare could mean someone doesn’t survive?

It’s called healthcare rationing. And it’s a hotly debated issue in some circles.

“Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”

These words are in black and white in the Declaration of Independence. These are three rights that all people are supposed to have at all times.

In America, you can chase your dreams freely. Pursue your happiness.

In America, you’re free to do as you please, for the most part. Liberty.

In America, you have a right to your own life…

But, what if you need a pill to keep on living? Does that mean you have a right to that pill, even if you can’t pay for it yourself?

Families USA recently released a shocking statistic: 3 Americans die every hour due to a lack of health insurance. Seventy-two every day. Five hundred every week.

If that seems like a lot of people, it’s also because there’s a large base to draw from. Some 50 million Americans are uninsured out of the 300 million that make up the total population of the USA.

Obama’s trying to change that with the Affordable Care Act, to better fit the “Life” part in the Declaration of Independence.

But, as opponents are quick to point out, “who’s going to foot the bill?”

Money: the Other Side of the Coin

Even if you do have a right to life, someone will have to step up and protect that right.

It’s the doctors on the front lines of healthcare that have to face this decision every day. Doctors have limited resources, limited time, and an ever-growing number of people demanding their right to life protected. Doctors have to ration themselves out. They can’t help everyone.

Standing behind the doctors are the insurance companies and the government, paying their salaries and covering their expenses so they can continue to help people. At least, those people who have coverage or who qualify. Money isn’t unlimited, so both insurance companies and the government have to ration out what they can and cannot afford.

And even people paying out-of-pocket have to make these hard decisions. In 2011, 73 million adults had trouble paying their medical care bills. Seventy-five million people decided that their medical treatment wasn’t in their own budgets.

Sure you have a right to life, as long as you can pay for it.

Where Do You Stand?

There’s no denying that both sides of the issue have some really good points. On one side, it just seems right that people should have a right to life as “endowed by their Creator” like the Declaration of Independence says. On the other side, that right to life doesn’t come for free.

Some people want to think ‘top-down’ and stick to what they believe is right.

Others want to think ‘bottom-up’ and stick to what we can make happen.

This is the kind of thing people write books on and make movies about. It’s a part of the very foundation of the USA, and was going through Jefferson’s mind. Now, it’s going through yours.

Information provided on this website is for general purposes only. It is not intended to take the place of advice from your practitioner