How to Control Health Care Costs?
"We can't win the future with a government of the past."
PRESIDENT OBAMA, in his State of the Union address.
There are two ways to control Health care cost, the first, as I am sure, Mr. Krugman, you will agree is via a single payer government controlled program. That, at best, is only a patch on the problem; nonetheless a VERY NECESSARY stopgap measure.
The second more difficult and more systemic problem is in synchronizing demand with supply.
The demand, at present, is driven by “We the People’s” fear driven irrational ignorance. To put it simply “We the People” can not get enough Health Care. We are too paranoid about the unknown. “We the People” are nearly hypochondriacs. We will grow out of it, although it may take decades.
The supply is controlled by a self-sustaining cartel of elite educational institutions. There were, for 2009-2010 school year
per AAMC Data Book (http://www.aamc.org/publications) and on the AAMC FACTS website (http://www.aamc.org/facts).
There are 31 applications made for every admission and 2 applicants for every admission and a cost of $160,000 for a Medical School Education. This does not even include those that were intimidated by the 1/31 odds of admission based on the expense of making an admission. Most Applicants spend approximately $4,000 to apply to 32 schools (+/-) at $130/application.
According to the Association of American Medical Colleges, the median tuition in 2010-2011 was $28,685 at a public institution and $46,899 at a private institution. Note that tuition does not include books, lab fees, etc. In 2010-2011 the median total cost of attendance was $49,298 and $66,984 for public and private universities, respectively. In 2010, the median debt at graduation was $150,000 at public institutions, $180,000 at private, and $160,000 combined.
We need to DOUBLE the number of Doctors. We need to INCREASE supply to meet the demand to lower the COST. We are not getting the cream of the crop; we are perpetuating the Cartels self-servings interest, limited supply subject to an irrational OVERWHELMING demand. We need to be opening up NEW medical schools in advance of NEW hospitals.
On a separate note, I would contend that we do not have any individual rights in this country, "Everybody, BUT the innocent victim, has “ABSOLUTE IMMUNITY”" for the deprivation of rights; but that is another story.