Social Security And Medicare Budgets Will Double In Next Decade

The above entitlement programs are on an unsustainable path that the Gen X and Millennial Generations will have to address. Continue reading →

Thanks Obama: 90% of physicians plan to cut medicare patients

New government regulations via Obamacare are making independent physicians adjust their patient volume by not taking Medicare patients according to a new study. Continue reading →

U.S. Healthcare Spending Has Risen

Dr. Ed Yardeni has put together a post showing the consumer has saved dollars YTD on gasoline prices, the savings is being eaten up by higher medical expenses.
healthcare spending

Last week, I observed that while consumers are spending less of their budgets on gasoline, they are spending more on health care. The latest data through January show that the percentage of current-dollar consumption for gasoline plunged from last year’s high of 3.2% to 2.1% in January. Consumers saved $133 billion (saar) on gasoline over this period.

On the other hand, the percentage of their outlays for health care goods and services rose from last year’s low of 20.0% during March to 20.6% during January. I received lots of inquiries about this topic. Most readers want to know if this is attributable to Obamacare, which seems to have raised health insurance premiums, deductibles, and copays. I think so, but I don’t have the data to corroborate this conjecture.

Health care consumption includes spending paid for by both insurance and government programs, as well as out-of-pocket costs. Presumably and anecdotally, the latter have risen sharply. However, that wouldn’t necessarily bloat overall spending, though more out-of-pocket outlays would depress spending on other goods and services.

One Third of U.S. Baby Boomers In Work Force

Baby Boomers (people born between 1946 to 1964) are retiring in droves. According to Gallup via Economic Policy Journal, only about one third of Boomers are still working.

babyboomers

PRINCETON, N.J. — The first members of the huge baby-boom generation in the U.S. have reached retirement age in recent years, and these older boomers are retiring in large numbers, just as Americans in their mid- to late 60s did a few years earlier. While about eight in 10 boomers in their early 50s are in the workforce, the percentage employed drops to about 50% for boomers who are 60, and the proportion accelerates downward with each year of age thereafter. Only about a third of those aged 67 and 68 — the oldest boomers — are still working in some capacity.

How Federal Tax Dollars Were Spent in 2014

The Tax Foundation put together a chart showing how federal tax dollars were spent.
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Compare that to 1962 federal spending
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How Much Do Consumers Pay to Healthcare Providers?

Just Facts Daily posed a question to readers regarding healthcare payments. Here is the question and answer:

What portion of all healthcare spending in the U.S. is directly paid by consumers to healthcare providers (i.e., not indirectly paid through middlemen like insurance companies or governments)?

Less than 25%

In 2009, consumers directly paid for 12% of all healthcare spending in the U.S., as compared to 48% in 1960. This trend has been driven by government policies and is a major factor in the rise of healthcare spending, because it reduces consumers’ incentive to shop for the best value.

Why Doctors Are Leaving Medicaid

The new healthcare law that passed in 2010 was more of an expansion of getting people on medicaid then getting insurance. Medicaid is the “universal health care” that most don’t realize exists and it is taking on millions of new people each year. FORBES magazine has pretty lengthy write up about this program along with medicare.

Doctors seeing Medicare patients face a 24 percent cut in reimbursements beginning January 1.  But almost no one has grasped that those cuts will hit Medicaid too—thanks to Obamacare. Together both programs cover more than 100 million Americans, and the government expects about 9 million more people to join Medicaid next year.

The number of just regular doctors is drying up as new doctors coming out of med school go into specialty areas. Doctors cannot afford new Medicaid patients and here is one reason why:

Medicaid pays doctors about 59 percent of what medicare pays them—which is why doctors increasingly refuse to take new Medicaid patients.

In 2012 doctors ran to the exits in fleeing medicaid.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) recently released a document showing that 9,500 doctors who had previously accepted Medicaid patients refused to do so in 2012.

In 2013 Congress voted to increase medicaid payments at the same rate of medicare. Now that is about to get cut again. The up and down of government intrusion in healthcare as this complicated law unfolds is taking a toll on our healthcare system. The people who suffer ultimately will be the patients.