In the US we are having trouble affording social security and medicare. I know that most other developed countries pay a smaller % of GDP for medical care, so i am assuming their costs in that area are lower but overall are they facing the same bankruptcy in 30 or so years that the US is?
It’s definitely is a major concern in France, and has been heavily debatted for a long time. Though the expenses might be smaller than in the US, health care nevetheless engulf a very large share of all develloped countries’ GNP, and with medical progresses, and our aging populations, the situation might become untenable sooner or later.
Really?? I’d have thought the exact opposite was the case, that America’s reliance on private cover lessened the burden on state expenditure. For example, the NHS in Britain is the single biggest employer in the whole country.
FWIW, the NHS is a constant political topic. There’s no question that it’s underfunded - the question is how to rectify it. Labour want public-private co-operation, the Tories go for further use of private insurance, while I and many others say quit meddling with it and just raise the money by income tax.
The proportion of gross domestic product (GDP) spent on healthcare varies from a low of 7.4% in the UK to a high of 14.7% in the US
Consider yourself lucky if healthcare is your biggest employer. I think the US’s biggest is walmart, a low paying service industry that is one of the most anti-union companies in the country.
i forgot to add that the US government’s part of healthcare spending make sup to 60% of healthcare expenditures in the US
Wow, you’re right, and further googling makes it clear that the US spends more than any other country on healthcare. BUT I wonder what the figures for public expenditure are? Given that much of American healthcare is in the hands of private companies.
Ignored your additional post.
ANYWAY, replace the 40% private with a non-profit system, and I wonder how the costs would change?
Yes, it is a big concern in Europe too. There is concern over NHS funding as GorillaMan said, but also a lot of concern about pensions, although that is more a long term concern. Its common to all developed countries, as our populations are ageing.
BTW, not only is the NHS the largest employer in the UK, it is also the largest employer in Europe, and third largest in the world. Cite Only the Chinese Army, and the Indian railways employ more people! Amazing really…
Medicare and Social Security are two different accounts.
Social Security currently has a 1.5 trillion dollar surplus, and boring accountants will tell you that minor adjustments would keep it going long past 2042. This contrasts with the half-trillion deficit our current Republican (huh) administration has arranged for.
Note SS projections are done under strict accounting rules and assumptions. None of the alternate proposals (to my knowledge) have used the same strictures, so the comparisons are bogus. And there may be industries motivated by the desire to get their hands on part of that enormous cash flow.
The new Medicare changes are highly questionable and debatable, if you have been following it at all. For one, the prescription-drug benefit does not allow the patients to buy Canadian or any equivalent, so the taxpayers’ dollars are not being thriftily used. (And the benefit goes to…?) The Administration apparently kept the costs hidden from Congress while they were working on the bill. There are multiple other such issues.
Another medical cost factor is the % of your med-insurance premium that does not go to medical care. I’ve read that 30% or 40% of all those dollars go to profits and executive compensation. Imagine going to a single-provider system that would take out most of that difference in the costs. Likewise imagine where the political impetus comes from for the existing providers to keep that 30% or 40% coming. One may assume that they aren’t just lobbying Congress and the Administration, but also paying for public-relations campaigns to convince us voters that single-provider or any other alternative is just terrible.
It’s true that there are reasons for the cost of medical care to climb, for such things as how they can keep a premature baby alive at the cost of hundreds of thousands of dollars, and treat cancer and rare diseases and old age at the same or into the millions. Some of this could be financed by higher deductibles or other means, but it is a problem.
What puzzles me is the emphasis on demographics. If there will be two working people per retiree, when we are all retired with our nice juicy 401K plans (to dream a little), who will be mowing our lawns, maintaining our houses, policing our streets, driving us to our doctors in taxis, doing the farming, driving the trucks, selling us our groceries clothes and nicknacks, taking our travel reservations, and a few years later manning our elder-care homes? Is it a financial issue or a personnel one?
It’s also a financial issue, because in such a situation, your economy will be going down the toilets, hence the stocks you bought, plans you paid for, etc…while planning your retirment will be worth zilch. To take it to the extreme, if nobody work anymore, no income at all is generated, hence nothing can be redistributed to the 100% retired population, regardless how much they invested during their active life (except if invested in a country where there are still people working and generating some income for you). It’s like in the old times having bought a field expecting to rent it when you’ll be old and live on the rent/farm products, and discovering that you can’t find anybody willing to rent and plow the field when you’re too old to do it yourself.