What do you call a service which keeps on getting expensive much faster than general monetary inflation but which does provide improved outcomes? How about calling it a scam? On my previous blog, I had written a few posts about this general area about how the current status quo in American ‘healthcare’ system is corporate extortion in all but name, how a majority of people in this country no longer trust people working in the medical system and how life expectancy in this country is about class, not race. A couple of year ago, I came across a tweet linked to a graph from 2019, which tracked the amount of money (inflation-adjusted) spent on healthcare in USA since 1960. FYI- here is the source for that graph with data upto 2020.
Having seen other graphs about this topic, I immediately noticed something. There is a peculiar relationship between the increase in calculated life-expectancy with cost of “healthcare” in USA. To understand what I getting at, let us start by acknowledging that average life-expectancy in this country increased by about 9 years between 1960 and 2019. Now look at its correlation with total cost. We had already reached the 74 year mark in 1981 (40 years ago), total cost was 872 billion USD, inflation adjusted,- which is a bit under 1/4th of what it costs now. But it gets better.. or worse. In 2000, the average calculated life-expectancy at birth was 76.6 years and total cost was about 1,945 billion USD- again, inflation adjusted. To make a long story short, average life expectancy has increased by only 2 years over past 20 years- but costs have more than doubled over same time span. This becomes even more obvious for 2010-2020 period.
Categories: Health and Medicine