WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF YESTERDAY’S POST?

WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF YESTERDAY’S POST? Yesterday’s post simply stated the conclusion of the Burtless study that “on average, annual health spending per person — from all private and government sources — is equal for the poorest and the richest Americans. In 2003, it was $4,477 for the poorest fifth and $4,451 for the richest.” I left the conclusion without comment partly to emphasize it and partly because I don’t have a lot more to say than to express surprise. I couldn’t find the study on Google. There may be questions about the methodology of the study, especially given the convoluted, jerry-built nature of health-care financing. It may be that the health of the poorest fifth is a lot worse than that of the rich so expenditures on the poorest ought to be a lot larger. Expenditures are not the same as outcomes (mortality by income quintile). The Samuelson article cited a study which “compared the insured and uninsured after the onset of a chronic illness — say, heart disease or diabetes.” The conclusion: “Outcomes differed little.”

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One Response to WHAT ARE THE IMPLICATIONS OF YESTERDAY’S POST?

  1. Elmer says:

    Perhaps the equivqlence in expnditure is because the very poor have Medicaid. (Where else could the poor be getting this money? I doubt that ER expenditures cause the equivalence.) Many of the arguments in favor of more health insurance coverage seem to focus on the working poor. Elmer

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