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WSJ – We Do Not Spend Enough on Health Care and write a 1 page analysis, based on what you currently know about the health care industry.


Follow this format –


1.  The paper should be 1 page, double spaced, Arial 11 font, 1 inch margins.


2.  Begin the paper with a BRIEF summary of the article – about 1/4 of the content.


3.  The rest of the paper should be your analysis of the author’s point of view – 3/4 of the content.


4.  Address these issues –


  • Should we be concerned that health care is 15%+ of the US GDP?  Explain.
  • What impact has today’s health care system had on the health status of most Americans?  Substantiate.
  • Find out who Jack Benny was, & say how you would answer his question.










i am supporting the writer opinoion


on time


only one page


answer the qustions


follow the instructions




the wall street journal










AUGUST 17, 2009








We Don’t Spend Enough on Health Care










By Craig S. Karpel








Americans are being urged to worry about the nation spending 17% of its gross domestic




product each year on health care—a higher percentage than any other country. Addressing the




American Medical Association in June, Barack Obama said, “Make no mistake: The cost of our




health care is a threat to our economy.” But the president is mistaken. Japan spends 8% of its




GDP on health care—the same as Zimbabwe. South Korea and Haiti both spend 6%. Monaco




spends 5%, which is what Afghanistan spends. Do all of these countries have economies that




are less “threatened” than that of the U.S.?




No. So there must be other factors that affect the health of a nation’s economy.




Mr. Obama has said that “the cost of health care has weighed down our economy.” No one




thinks the 20% of our GDP that’s attributable to manufacturing is weighing down the economy,




because it’s intuitively clear that one person’s expenditure on widgets is another person’s




income. But the same is true of the health-care industry. The $2.4 trillion Americans spend each




year for health care doesn’t go up in smoke. It’s paid to other Americans.




The basic material needs of human beings are food, clothing and shelter. The desire for food




and clothing drove hunter-gatherer economies and, subsequently, agricultural economies, for




millennia. The Industrial Revolution was driven by the desire for clothing. Thus Richard




Arkwright’s water frame, James Hargreaves’s spinning jenny, Samuel Crompton’s spinning




mule, Eli Whitney’s cotton gin and Elias Howe’s sewing machine.




Though it hasn’t been widely realized, the desire for shelter was a major driver of the U.S.




economy during the second half of the 20th century and the first several years of the 21st.




About one-third of the new jobs created during the latter period were directly or indirectly related




to housing, as the stupendous ripple effect of the bursting housing bubble should make painfully








Once these material needs are substantially met, desire for health care—without which there




can be no enjoyment of food, clothing or shelter—becomes a significant, perhaps a principal,




driver of the economy.




A little-noticed feature of the current recession is the role of the health-care industry as a




resilient driver of the general economy. Health-care now accounts for 10.4% of nonfarm




employment. Health-care employment grew by 19,600 jobs in July 2009, on a par with the




average monthly gain for the first half of 2009, which was down from an average monthly




increase of 30,000 in 2008. Remarkably, these gains occurred in a period during which total




employment shrank by 6.7 million.




The U.S. health-care economy should be viewed not as a burden but as an engine of growth.




Medical and orthopedic equipment exports increased by 65.1% from 2004 through 2008.




Pharmaceutical exports were up 74.6%. The unprecedented advances expected to come out of




American stem cell, nanotechnology and human genome research—which other countries’




constricted health sectors cannot support—will send these already impressive figures skyward.




A study by Deloitte LLP has found that more than 400,000 non-U.S. residents obtained medical




care in the U.S. in 2008, and it forecasts an annual increase of 3%. Some 3.5% of inpatient




procedures at U.S. hospitals were performed on international patients, many of them escaping




from Canada’s supposedly superior health system.




“Inbound medical tourism,” Deloitte stated, “is primarily driven by the search for high-quality




care without extensive waiting periods. Foreign patients are willing to pay more for care within




the United States if these two factors play a large role.” The deficiencies of the foreign healthcare




systems the Obama administration wishes to emulate can be counted on to generate everincreasing




revenues for U.S. providers and employment for Americans.




In a 2007 study, Stanford University economists Robert E. Hall (who will take office next year as




president of the American Economic Association) and Charles I. Jones reported that modeling




they’ve conducted has found that mid-21st century U.S. health-care expenditures would




optimally amount to 30% of GDP or more. They wrote:




“We examine the allocation of resources that maximizes social welfare in our model. We




abstract from the complicated institutions that shape spending in the United States and ask a




more basic question: from a social welfare standpoint, how much should the nation spend on




health care, and what is the time path of optimal health spending? . . .




“Viewed from every angle, our results support the proposition that both historical and future




increases in the health spending share are desirable. . . . [W]e believe it likely that maximizing




social welfare in the United States will require the development of institutions that are consistent




with spending 30 percent or more of GDP on health by the middle of the century.”




The administration’s health-care plan is biased toward bean-counting rather than designed to




maximize American physical and mental well-being. We need to ask ourselves whether there is




truly anything more valuable to us than our loved ones and our own health and longevity.




In the signature radio sketch of Jack Benny, whose performing persona was laughably frugal,




actor Eddie Marr snarled at him, “Don’t make a move—this is a stickup. Now, come on: Your




money or your life.” Benny didn’t respond. The “robber” said, “Look, bud—I said your money or




your life!” Whereupon Benny shot back, “I’m thinking it over!”




Confronted for the first time in history with a constant stream of medical innovations that are




marvelously effective but tend to be very expensive, our legislative representatives—in




particular, the Blue Dog Democrats—would do well to stop “thinking it over” and to commit




themselves to action that will preserve the ability of Americans to choose life over money.




—Mr. Karpel is the author of “The Retirement Myth” (HarperCollins, 1995).






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