The business of America is no longer business, but caring for the sick
Exactly 100 years ago, a label was given to the dying Ottoman Empire where the coalition¬†tied to the Central Powers during World War I was called the Sick Man of Europe.¬† And this label would eventually become part of the mainstream as it would one day be tagged to nearly every European country during the 20th century.
Now here in the 21st century the ‘sick man’ title could easily be placed on the American Empire, and the 300+ million inhabitants who dwell within it.¬† This is because a new report out shows that 20% of the nation’s GDP is relegated solely towards the healthcare industry, and the business of America has dissolved into one of simply taking care of the sick and infirmed over actual output and productivity.
Everybody agrees that healthcare costs are way too high.¬† Back in 1960, healthcare spending accounted for approximately¬†5 percent¬†of GDP, and by 2020 it is being projected that healthcare spending will account for¬†20 percent¬†of GDP.¬† And when you break those numbers down into actual dollars, they become even more staggering.¬† Back in 1960, an average of $146 was spent on healthcare per person for the entire year, but today that number has skyrocketed to $9,990.¬† On a per capita basis, we spend far more¬†than anyone else in the world¬†on healthcare.¬† In fact, we spend¬†almost twice as much¬†as most other industrialized nations on a per capita basis.¬† Something has gone terribly wrong, and we desperately need to get this fixed.
Just between the years of 1996 and 2013, our spending on healthcare rose by a whopping 900 billion dollars, and it is estimated that healthcare spending now accounts for nearly one-fifth of the entire U.S. economy.¬† The following comes from¬†the Daily Mail‚Ä¶
US healthcare spending rocketed $900 billion between 1996 and 2013, staggering new data reveal.
Americans spend more money on healthcare than any other population, and increasingly so.
By 2013, total healthcare spending hit $2.1 trillion, according to the study published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The researchers say that figure has now likely soared to more than $3.2 trillion, which equates to 18 percent of the country‚Äôs economy. ‚Äď¬†End of the American Dream
Besides the Baby Boomers who are now going into their twilight years and will be requiring constant medical services, there are record numbers of Americans claiming disability benefits, as well as the alarming number of individuals addicted to pain medications such as opiods.¬† And all one has to do is look around and see the number of people who are morbidly obese to realize that health issues that normally wouldn’t hit a population until later in life are springing up in one’s 40’s and 50’s rather than in their 70’s and 80’s.
Look around in most newspapers and online job ads and you will see the fastest growing industry is by far the healthcare sector.¬† And with the government deciding back in 2010 to expand their budget in the industry far beyond that of Medicare and Medicaid, it could take less than a decade before caring for the sick takes over 50% of the nation’s entire productivity and output.
Kenneth Schortgen Jr¬†is¬†a writer for¬†The Daily Economist,¬†Secretsofthefed.com,¬†Roguemoney.net, and¬†Viral Liberty, and hosts¬†the popular¬†youtube podcast¬†on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.¬†Ken can also¬†be heard Wednesday afternoons giving an weekly economic report on the¬†Angel Clark radio show.