Monday, May 18, 2009

USA wastes more on health care bureaucracy than it would cost to provide health care to all of the uninsured

The U.S. wastes more on health care bureaucracy than it would cost to provide health care to all of the uninsured. Administrative expenses will consume at least $399.4 billion out of total health expenditures of $1,660.5 billion in 2003. Streamlining administrative overhead to Canadian levels would save approximately $286.0 billion in 2003, $6,940 for each of the 41.2 million Americans who were uninsured as of 2001. This is substantially more than would be needed to provide full insurance coverage....

...Only a single payer national health insurance system could garner these massive administrative savings, allowing universal coverage without any increase in total health spending. Because incremental reforms necessarily preserve the current fragmented and duplicative payment structure they cannot achieve significant bureaucratic savings....


In 2003 the U.S. will spend $399.4 billion ($1,389 per capita) on health bureaucracy, out of total expenditures of $1660.5 billion ($5,775 per capita). The states could save $286.0 billion dollars in 2003 if they streamlined administration to Canadian levels by adopting a single-payer national health insurance system. The potential savings are equivalent to at least $6,940 for each of the 41.6 million Americans uninsured in 2001.

These potential administrative savings are far higher than recent estimates of the cost of covering the uninsured. For instance researchers from The Urban Institute estimate that covering all of America's uninsured with an "average" private insurance policy would cost $69 billion annually (Hadley and Holahan, Health Affairs, May/June, 2003). Thus, the $286.0 billion in administrative savings could cover all of the uninsured, with $217 billion left over to upgrade coverage for Americans who are currently under-insured - e.g. to offer first dollar drug coverage to seniors.

At our clinic, we spend fully 60+% of our non-physician hours just trying to make sense of the mess that is the American Health Insurance system. I've been griping about this for years.

When I think of all the good the wasted dollars could do, I get just a wee bit PISSED OFF!

Many of the doctors I know are finally coming around on the issue of single payer.

Why can't the pols see enormous upside to a national public system?

Mr. Obama, why is Single Payer off the table?

I gotta go cool down.

Catch you later.....


ogre said...

Now who was it who told some journalists "Follow the money"? And why?

GOPnot4me said...

Too many people believe the quote to be, "Money is the root of all evil".

I believe it was, "The LOVE of money is the root of all evil".

I hate to contradict Gordon Gecko, but, greed is NOT good.

And mixed with health care?!?