Dan Munro of Forbes Magazine assembled several interesting health care economics graphs for 2012. See his article for details and for the source of the data. Here are some of the graphs:
The first shows the rise in costs for working Americans. Currently the premium is 50% paid by employer and 50% by the employee.
The second shows how the US compares to other countries — basicaly the US spends more but does not get a benefit in life expectancy.
The third shows the US spends a lot more than other countries in the Medicare age group.
So what is the problem? One would be tempted to conclude Medicare is the cause of the high costs in the older age group. But Medicare is more efficient than private insurance based on loss ratios. And, Medicare has spearheaded reduced payments to hospitals with DRGs. If Medicare replaced private insurance many estimate a small reduction in total health care cost. However, the inability of Medicare to set or negotiate prices for drugs, imaging and devices is sadly lacking compared to the other 40 countries in the world with health systems. Efforts to cap Medicare cost without giving Medicare the economic tools other health systems have will just result in low quality, high cost and poor access to care.