Oh sure. It is easy to blather on about rising healthcare costs and value-based care--often in the same exhalation. We have discussed what may happen if healthcare expenditures approach less than double their current rate--30% of the economy. The economy would likely collapse.
But here is a conversation not many of our colleagues seem to be having. What will happen to our economy if we ever get healthcare spending under control? Or if we are indulging my fantasies about healthcare--if we transition to a public utility model of healthcare?
Data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO)
PROJECTIONS FOR MAJOR HEALTH CARE PROGRAMS FOR FY 2016 (As of August 2016)
MEDICARE (Net of Offsetting Receipts)
HEALTH INSURANCE SUBSIDIES AND RELATED SPENDING
CHILDREN’S HEALTH INSURANCE PROGRAM
The impact of US healthcare expenditure as a percentage of gross domestic product (GDP) has been of vital concern for decades. It may be obvious, but healthcare expenditures are indeed included in GDP.
In the near term it won't be easy to grow GDP while decreasing healthcare spending. A major title of the Affordable Health Care Act included the value-based payment and hospital readmissions reduction program. A decrease in hospital utilization is a model success--but as demand diminishes we will lose a large portion of the healthcare spend.
Efficiency, cost-containment, and shifting costs to the insured workers--which leg of the stool will collapse first?