Thursday, September 10, 2009

A Prescription for Health Care as a Source of Job Growth in America

The twin foci of the Obama Administration have been the economy and health care.

It is proposed herein that the latter provides an important part of the solution for the former.

Rather than treating health care costs as a "bad thing" that need to be reined in, why not accept that there is a reason that they are estimated at 15% of GDP or greater and increasing? The reason is that the provision of health care is good for the provider, good for the recipient, and good for society at large. (It's also good for the insurer!) On the other hand, the sale of revolving credit to a credit junkie is good for the seller but bad for the recipient, and probably bad for society as a whole. The promotion of junk foods by supermarkets via prominent placement at the ends of aisles and at check-out counters is good for the market, bad for the shopper and the shopper's family, and bad for society. In the middle are things such as seeing a movie, which is presumably good for the movie industry and the viewer but neutral for society as a whole.

Due to a combination of public health improvements over the past decades and even centuries, and improved medical care, we have an aging society. This is so in Europe, Japan and China. Who will care for the old? No matter what health care bill may or may not pass this year, a failure to train more physicians, nurses and other allied health professionals, and even nurse's aides, will lead to rationing of care one way or another.

The United States is the world leader in medical technology, both devices and biotech. This could be a major growth export industry for the indefinite future.

As part of any health care bill or as stand-alone legislation, increased investment in the education of health care workers is needed; and instead of wasting money subsidizing a home purchase by a buyer who most likely would have purchased the home anyway or subsidizing auto sales often to buyers who didn't really mean to take on all that new debt, the country should double down on its strengths and grow its medical technology industry.

Think the song "Sunrise, Sunset". What are the sunrise and sunset industries for jobs for Americans?

Promotion of good health, and prevention and treatment of disease, provide a path toward a better and more prosperous America. And, by the way, one with plenty of good, clean jobs.

Copyright (C) Long Lake LLC 2009

1 comment:

  1. "why not accept that there is a reason that they are estimated at 15% of GDP or greater and increasing?"

    Um, because it could be done better at half the cost? Because the parasitic pharma/insurance cartel is just as harmful as the parasitic investment bankers?

    For 15 percent of GDP, we should have everybody in the nation with ready access to affordable medical and dental care, the lowest infant mortality rate in the world, etc. Hell, that should be enough money to buy everybody a massage once a month. Now THAT would be worth it, and we'd be a much more relaxed, happier nation to boot.