Day: December 23, 2009

US Healthcare costs under reform

An MIT economist used the CBO’s data to estimate healthcare costs for a family of four at various income levels with and without the Senate’s bill for healthcare reform. Today, a family of four with an income of $36,275 pays 68% of their income to healthcare! That will go down to 17% with healthcare reform. After reform, everyone will pay between 17% and 23% of their income for healthcare and the poorest will pay the lowest percentage rather than the highest percentage as they do today. People who say that higher taxes are going to erase any gains from healthcare reform are going to have a tough time proving it, based on these numbers.

To compare, Europeans pay an average of 10% of their income to healthcare and their healthcare is the best in the world. The US will pay 80% more than Europeans and still have the worst healthcare of the developed world. Did you know that babies are most likely to die in the US than anywhere else in the developed world, i.e., our infant mortality rate is the highest? I’d bet most Americans would never have guessed that. Capitalism and the free market have done great things but they just can’t work in healthcare — healthcare is one of the few areas that has to be subsidized.

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