Healthcare: Numbers Count

Mark Twain said, “There are lies, damn lies, and statistics.” Numbers matter. They tell a story.

Eighteen percent. Eighteen percent is the amount of national income spent on healthcare. Almost one of every five dollars.

With more than 10,000 people reaching age 65 each day and healthcare costs increasing, that number will reach 20 percent within a few years.

Thirteen percent. Thirteen percent is the amount of the nation’s total income we, as a nation, pay in income tax.

$50,000 and $15,000.

$50,000 is the average annual household income in the country. $15,000 is the annual cost of health insurance for the average household. 45 percent and declining. 25 percent and growing.

45 percent is the percentage of the population that is covered by employer provided health care, even though employer-provided healthcare is the basis of our national system.

Several years ago, the majority of the population was covered by employer provided healthcare.

No more.

Not only is employer-provided healthcare declining, but an increasing amount – now 25 percent – of the cost of employer’s cost is now paid by the employee.

$1 trillion and 26 percent.

Government spending on healthcare, including Medicare for the elderly, Medicaid for the poor, and the military and VA, exceeds $1 trillion and 26 percent of all government spending. Within ten years, these costs are projected to double.

$600 billion and 2.9 percent

Medicare costs $600 billion. The 2.9 percent Medicare payroll tax brings in $225 billion.

Adding the $75 billion in Medicare premiums charged to seniors and deducted from their social security checks, only half the cost is covered.

The taxpayer covers the rest.

$400 billion and 11 percent.

Medicaid and military-based health costs over $400 billion, more than 11 percent of government spending, all of which is paid by the taxpayer.

Fifty years ago, only 2 percent of government was on healthcare. Today, it’s 26 percent and growing. Fifty years ago, less than 5 percent of the economy was healthcare; today it’s 18 percent.

50 million or 16 percent.

50 million people, or 16 percent of the population, have no health insurance, but receive care simply by going to a hospital. Taxpayers and insured people pay more to cover those costs.

Medicare is an example of how insurance is supposed to work. Everyone pays the 2.9 percent Medicare tax on wages. (The Medicare tax does not apply to other income.) Everyone, including the young and healthy, pays over their lifetime so that all seniors have healthcare.

National healthcare costs can be covered in one of three ways: The government could tax and cover everyone like most countries do. Everyone could be required to have insurance, the premise behind Obamacare (and Romneycare). The uninsured and poor could be denied healthcare.

45 and zero.

Congressional Republicans have voted 45 times to repeal Obamacare.

None. Zero. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Despite objecting to Obamacare, Republicans have offered no alternative.

The national healthcare system does not work and is consuming the economy. Employerprovided healthcare costs are shifting increasingly to employees with the taxpayer picking up increasingly more costs.

Mark Twain was funny, but wrong.

Healthcare statistics are not a lie.

Healthcare costs are consuming more and more of everyone’s wallet.

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Thu, 23 Oct 2014 04:42:44 -0400

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