- Cape student sues, accuses school officials of slamming her to ground multiple times (04/28/16)45
- Bob Evans restaurant in Cape Girardeau among chain's 21 closings (04/26/16)9
- Missouri House votes to allow concealed weapons without permits (04/28/16)6
- Two hurt in motorcycle wreck on Interstate 55 (04/25/16)1
- Law firm requests information about Cape's traffic cameras (04/25/16)2
- Local lawmakers split over failed medical marijuana bill; voters may have a say (04/26/16)19
- Police report filed, but no charges in incident at Cape Central (04/29/16)36
- Tanker truck catches fire near Oak Ridge (04/24/16)7
- Local company makes eco-friendly kitty litter that cuts cat-box smell (04/25/16)
- Senator introduces bill for I-57 that would connect Sikeston with Little Rock (04/28/16)4
Health costs are excessive
The real health care issue is the excessive cost of the current system in the U.S. Not only do we spend more than 16 percent of GDP on health care, compared with Canada's 9.7 percent, we also have shorter life spans. Where does the extra money go?
The Dartmouth Atlas, published jointly by the medical school and the economics department of Dartmouth University, has estimated 30 percent of health care spending in the U.S. is wasted. It buys us nothing beneficial.
It is easy to believe the more health care we receive, the better it is. In 2006 at least 60 million surgical procedures were performed in the U.S. More than 100,000 people died that year from complications of surgery and medical errors. This is many times the number killed in automobile accidents (source: New Yorker article by Dr. A. Gawande, June 1).
Many are upset by the possibility of tax increases to pay for vague reform proposals. I am also. But excessive spending on health care hurts all of us. The net result means substantial funds are not available for other personal or governmental spending or savings. This excessive burden is an ever-increasing handicap for the U.S. in competing economically with the rest of the world.
If we could lower spending to Canada's level, the savings would be $736 billion.
All bubbles burst. Health care spending in the U.S. is the latest bubble. Economist Herbert Stein once stated: "What can't continue won't"
STEVE RICKARD, Cape Girardeau