In 2015 national health expenditure for the U.S. grew by 5.8 percent to $3.2 trillion and accounted for 17.8 percent of the U.S. gross national product. The expenditure breakdown by payer was federal government, 28.7 percent; households 27.7 percent; private business, 19.9 percent; state and local governments, 17.1 percent; and other private revenues, 6.6 percent. (source CMS.gov)
The issue isn’t who the payer is, it is the cost. France, ranked first by the World Health Organization for health care, spent 11.5 percent of its GNP on health care. Had the U.S. spent 11.5 percent of its GNP on health care, the cost would have been reduced by $1.15 trillion. If we want to bring down the cost of insurance we have to bring down the cost of health care.
Medicaid and Medicare should be allowed to negotiate pharmaceutical costs. Leverage is the key to negotiating reasonable prices and fighting medical usury. There are many examples of big pharma price gouging. A recent example is the drug Emflaza; currently this drug can be purchased from outside the U.S. for approximately $1,200 per year. Marathon pharmaceuticals has gotten FDA approval to sell the medication in the U.S. they are proposing an $89,000 a year price.
With 12,000 muscular dystrophy patients currently in the U.S., this total price increase would be $1.05 billion dollars. You can go to the following website for more insight into how we are being ripped off by big pharma, http://www.patientsforaffordabledrugs.org/ or google “patients for affordable drugs”.
Big pharma isn’t the only cost problem with our current system. There are numerous regulations that protect health care special interest groups and inhibit free market competition. My 300 words are up.