Best of the Week
Most Popular
1. Gold Final Warning: Here Are the Stunning Implications of Plunging Gold Price - P_Radomski_CFA
2.Fed Balance Sheet QE4EVER - Stock Market Trend Forecast Analysis - Nadeem_Walayat
3.UK House Prices, Immigration, and Population Growth Mega Trend Forecast - Part1 - Nadeem_Walayat
4.Gold and Silver Precious Metals Pot Pourri - Rambus_Chartology
5.The Exponential Stocks Bull Market - Nadeem_Walayat
6.Yield Curve Inversion and the Stock Market 2019 - Nadeem_Walayat
7.America's 30 Blocks of Holes - James_Quinn
8.US Presidential Cycle and Stock Market Trend 2019 - Nadeem_Walayat
9.Dear Stocks Bull Market: Happy 10 Year Anniversary! - Troy_Bombardia
10.Britain's Demographic Time Bomb Has Gone Off! - Nadeem_Walayat
Last 7 days
Stock Market Pause Should Extend - 21st April 19
Why Gold Has Been the Second Best Asset Class for the Last 20 Years - 21st April 19
Could Taxing the Rich Solve Income Inequality? - 21st April 19
Stock Market Euphoria Stunts Gold - 20th April 19
Is Political Partisanship Killing America? - 20th April 19
Trump - They Were All Lying - 20th April 19
The Global Economy Looks Disturbingly Like Japan Before Its “Lost Decade” - 19th April 19
Growing Bird of Paradise Strelitzia Plants, Pruning and Flower Guide Over 4 Years - 19th April 19
S&P 500’s Downward Reversal or Just Profit-Taking Action? - 18th April 19
US Stock Markets Setting Up For Increased Volatility - 18th April 19
Intel Corporation (INTC) Bullish Structure Favors More Upside - 18th April 19
Low New Zealand Inflation Rate Increases Chance of a Rate Cut - 18th April 19
Online Grocery Shopping Will Go Mainstream as Soon as This Year - 17th April 19
America Dancing On The Crumbling Precipice - 17th April 19
Watch The Financial Sector For The Next Stock Market Topping Pattern - 17th April 19
How Central Bank Gold Buying is Undermining the US Dollar - 17th April 19
Income-Generating Business - 17th April 19
INSOMNIA 64 Birmingham NEC Car Parking Info - 17th April 19
Trump May Regret His Fed Takeover Attempt - 16th April 19
Downside Risk in Gold & Gold Stocks - 16th April 19
Stock Market Melt-Up or Roll Over?…A Look At Two Scenarios - 16th April 19
Is the Stock Market Making a Head and Shoulders Topping Pattern? - 16th April 19
Will Powell’s Dovish Turn Support Gold? - 15th April 19
If History Is Any Indication, Stocks Should Rally Until the Fall of 2020 - 15th April 19
Stocks Get Closer to Last Year’s Record High - 15th April 19
Oil Price May Be Setup For A Move Back to $50 - 15th April 19
Stock Market Ready For A Pause! - 15th April 19
Shopping for Bargain Souvenirs in Fethiye Tuesday Market - Turkey Holidays 2019 - 15th April 19
From US-Sino Talks to New Trade Wars, Weakening Global Economic Prospects - 14th April 19
Stock Market Indexes Race For The New All-Time High - 14th April 19
Why Gold Price Will “Just Explode… in the Blink of an Eye” - 14th April 19

Market Oracle FREE Newsletter

Top 10 AI Stocks Investing to Profit from the Machine Intelligence Mega-trend

2 Charts Show Just How Close We Are to US Healthcare Collapse

Politics / Healthcare Sector Apr 05, 2017 - 03:24 PM GMT

By: John_Mauldin

Politics

BY PATRICK WATSON : Like it or not, Obamacare lives. The question is, for how long?

President Trump is right when he says the Affordable Care Act will collapse on its own. Its condition is terminal, and Congress declined treatment.

Maybe that’s no big deal to you. Maybe you’re on Medicare, or get group health coverage from your employer, or are independently wealthy, or you’re in good health and confident you will remain so.


Unfortunately, millions of Americans who don’t fall into any of those categories may soon find themselves in a tough spot.

I don’t want that to be you, so today I’m sounding the alarm. You may enter 2018 with no access to health insurance, which means you will be at risk both medically and financially.

Now is the time to prepare.

Some Perspective on Global Health Care

The first step to solving a problem is admitting you have one. Some of us are in denial, so here’s a hard fact: We Americans spend far more money on health care than any other developed nation, but we’re no healthier.

We’re even less healthy overall.

The chart below shows the bad news. The horizontal axis is years of life expectancy. The vertical axis is per capita healthcare spending.

Ideally, you want to be in the lower right quadrant. That means your population has a relatively high life expectancy and relatively low healthcare spending.

France, Japan, Spain, Chile, and a bunch of others are clustered in that area. Their money buys more health than ours does.

The United States is in the upper right, which shows that our per-person healthcare spending is significantly higher than that of the other OECD countries. Switzerland is a distant second place.

Our extra spending doesn’t help us live longer. We actually die a little earlier than our peers in Japan and most of Europe.

You can quibble over details in this data, but the broad facts are inescapable. We spend too much on healthcare relative to the health it buys us. As long as that is the case, no reform plan will work.

Did Obamacare cause this? No. It goes way back. Here’s another graphic showing the changes over time.

You can see that the United States began diverging from other developed countries back in the 1980s. The gap has only grown wider since then.

Stranger yet, we spend all this extra money yet still leave millions of low-income citizens with little or no access to healthcare. Kaiser Family Foundation says some 2.5 million working Americans make too much to qualify for Medicaid, but not enough to receive Obamacare tax credits.

Brace Yourself for the Death Spiral

I showed you that data to say this: Simply returning to pre-Obamacare conditions won’t solve the problem. Obamacare exists because the system wasn’t working and we needed something better.

Before 2014, people with preexisting conditions were simply out of luck. They couldn’t buy health insurance at any price, unless their employers offered group health, which many didn’t. This was hurting both those people and the economy at large.

Obamacare, for all its flaws, at least tried to solve the problem. It helped some people but hurt others—and now it’s reached its limits.

Insurance works only if the risk pool includes enough low-spending people to offset those with expensive claims. That’s Obamacare’s core problem. The legal mandate to buy insurance hasn’t brought enough young and healthy people into the pool.

This is the “death spiral” you hear about. People with serious illnesses will buy insurance no matter what it costs. This drives up claim ratios, which then drives premiums yet higher and discourages young and healthy people from buying.

That can’t work indefinitely.

Subscribe to Connecting the Dots—and Get a Glimpse of the Future

We live in an era of rapid change… and only those who see and understand the shifting market, economic, and political trends can make wise investment decisions. Macroeconomic forecaster Patrick Watson spots the trends and spells what they mean every week in the free e-letter, Connecting the Dots. Subscribe now for his seasoned insight into the surprising forces driving global markets.

John Mauldin Archive

© 2005-2019 http://www.MarketOracle.co.uk - The Market Oracle is a FREE Daily Financial Markets Analysis & Forecasting online publication.


Post Comment

Only logged in users are allowed to post comments. Register/ Log in

6 Critical Money Making Rules