Health Care Statistics Every Person Should Know…
May 30, 2009
Most people already realize that our current health care "system" is no system at all and isn't working. But I think below are some key statistics to understand the scope of the problem and therefore better inform how we solve it!
• 792,000 Uninsured Coloradoans (Co Health Institute 2006)
• We are getting sicker, not healthier
• We are spending more money for less coverage
• Insurance companies make their profit in over-charging premiums and denying necessary health care.
• Insurance industry can use people who are not licensed and qualified to interfere and deny necessary medical treatment in Colorado.
• Medical errors are now the 8th leading cause of death in the US with 98,000 preventable deaths every year.
• 2000 – 2007 Premiums Rose by 98% (Kaiser Family Foundation)
• Insurance Companies Spend $98 Billion in excess administration per year (McKinsey & Co 2007)
• From 1998 – 2007, Insurance Industry Spent over $1 Billion in lobbying, the Pharmaceutical industry spent over $1.3 Billion in lobbying, for profit Hospital and Nursing Homes spent $530 Million on lobbying (Open Secrets.org)
• That $3.95 Billion in lobbying activities would have been enough to pay for an entire year of insurance premiums for over 1 Million people. (Kaiser Family Foundation)
• The insurance industry is sitting on over $600 Billion in surpluses, which is more than the gross domestic product of 193 countries. (Consumer Federation of America 2007, CIA World Fact Book)
• The Insurance and pharmaceutical industries remain in the top 10 industries for making political contributions and for hiring and use of lobbyists to influence policy.
• Health Insurance companies made over $12 Billion in profit in in 2007 (not counting executive salaries, stock options, administration, reserves or surpluses) Forbes
• $ 3 Billion paid in insurance executive compensation and stock options (Forbes)
• U.S. spends $216.7 Billion in prescription drugs in 2006, 5 times the amount in 1990. (KFF, Prescription Drug Trends, 2008).
• From 1997 to 2007 the number of prescriptions purchased increased by 72%, where population growth was only 11%.(KFF, Prescription Drug Trends, 2008).
• The push to prescribe is driven as much or more by feeding the bottom line of pharmaceutical companies as for our health, has increased the number of medication errors, increased the amount of prescribed uses not approved by the FDA, and is consumed in such high numbers pharmaceuticals have now contaminated our drinking water.
• Drug companies spend $30 Billion per year in marketing and advertising controlled their controlled substances and $7 Billion per year in industry gifts to providers, hoping to influence prescribing.
• The top 12 pharmaceutical industries reported a combined profit of $79.4 Billion in 2007 and $78.6 Billion in 2008. (Fortune 500, CNN Money 2008)
• Consolidation of Ownership & For Profit Mergers are spiking costs and reducing choices for consumers.
• Hospitals have moved from non-profit to for-profit and there are now only 3 for-profit companies who own access to Colorado's hospitals.
• The concentration of ownership in few corporate hands in health care is triggering concerns by the US Department of Justice and is raising real anti-trust concerns.
• According to a Harvard study 54% of bankruptcies were medical bankruptcies caused by the high cost of health care.
This is not acceptable, this is not sustainable, this is not moral, this is not sane.
• It would cost $77 Billion to provide full medical coverage to ALL Americans (McKinsey & Co 2007)
Taxpayers are presently subsidizing these for profit- corporations in the form of tax breaks, deductions for advertising and deductions for their lavish salaries, costs and trips. If we removed the current tax breaks for these industries we could fund universal health care for all.
If we moved from for-profit to a non-profit delivery model of health care we could fund universal health care for all.
The amount of insurance surpluses alone could fund total coverage to every American for 8 years.
We have spent billions more on wall street bailouts that it would cost to provide health care to every single American for decades. The question is, where are our priorities?
Under the 208 Commision on Health Care report, The Colorado Single Payer Proposal was the only one of five state proposals evaluated by the Lewin Group in 2007 that demonstrated the ability to cut net state health costs – by $1.4 billion — and to provide comprehensive health coverage for all residents of Colorado. Savings include $2.8 billion reduced administrative costs and $2.6 billion reduced out-of-pocket expenses.
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