Political Nutz

Observations on the pathetic state of American politics

Why Isn’t This Part of the Healthcare Discussion?

5% of Americans Made Up 50% of U.S. Healthcare Spending

Painting by Mikhail Nesterov

America’s healthcare spending crisis is a concentrated phenomenon. The challenge isn’t just about making everybody’s insurance cheaper (although that would be nice). It’s about figuring out how to cut costs, wisely and fairly, for the disastrously ill and preventing diseases before they become chronic. This is America’s 5% problem.  [The Atlantic, 13-Jan-2012]

A Department of Health and Human Services study reveals that healthcare costs are, not surprisingly, skewed towards elderly folks with serious, some times catastrophic, chronic conditions.  These are precisely the people private insurance companies don’t want to deal with.  Figuring out a way to help this small group —that could include any of us— would be a big step in improving America’s healthcare system.

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