Friday, February 12, 2016

Healthcare is Getting Better?

The CBO has a report on the projections of Healthcare costs. It is worth the read. For all the "good news" from our Government, somehow CBO manages to state the obvious. Things are really not that good.

They state:

Most Americans are covered by private health insurance, which they either obtain through employment or purchase individually. Insurance premiums—the payments made to buy that coverage by enrollees or by other parties on their behalf—are high and rising. CBO and the staff of the Joint Committee on Taxation (JCT) project that in 2016, the average premium for an employment-based insurance plan will be about $6,400 for single coverage and about $15,500 for family coverage. Average premiums for coverage purchased individually (in what is called the nongroup market) are also high—but not quite as high as average employment-based premiums, mostly because nongroup coverage is less extensive and thus requires enrollees to make higher out-of-pocket payments when they receive care. Although premiums for private insurance have grown relatively slowly in recent years, they have usually grown faster than the economy as a whole and thus faster than average income. Over the period from 2005 to 2014, premiums for employment-based insurance grew by 48 percent for single coverage and by 55 percent for family coverage. CBO and JCT expect them to grow at similar rates over the next decade—by about 5 percent per year, on average, or about 2 percentage points faster than income per capita. As a result of that growth, average premiums for employment-based coverage are projected to be about $10,000 for single coverage and about $24,500 for family coverage in 2025, nearly 60 percent higher than they were in 2016.

Now combine that with the Yield Curve data we presented and we can see that with any bump of inflation the 5%  can readily go to 10% again and compounded inflation is a disaster. Furthermore we have not really insured the 20 million stated we have insured the sicker 10 million. Furthermore the insured are not paying any premiums of any consequence, they get a free ride while increased Medicare fees are somewhat making up for the difference.

But wait! The real problem is the added costs to providing Healthcare; the EHR, the EHR audits, the Quality metrics, the Quality metric audits. Not only do we have added overhead but we have added Government overseers. We will soon have fewer physicians, of a poorer quality, after all we do not want to make prior academic performance a decision metric any longer, and we will ultimately end up looking like the NHS, single payer or not.