Saturday, August 27, 2011

Healthcare Spending

Being bedridden today reminded me that your health is second in priority only to your children. When you are too sick to function, your life stops.

It also occurred to me that it makes sense that healthcare spending keeps rising. I think modern industrialized society is at the point now where the costs of other needs such as food, clothing, shelter, and entertainment will continue to drop. I am amazed at how little nutritious food costs now in dollars per calorie. Likewise, it is somewhat stunning how many hours of electronic entertainment you can now access for a flat monthly fee in the form of music, videos, and games. Once we fully transition to delivering education electronically, I expect that we will see further price drops in that realm as well. Except for cases of conspicuous consumption, it appears that consumers can easily become satiated to the point of saturation with regard to our non-medical needs.

With regard to healthcare, however, there appears to be no limit to our requirements. As our healthcare increases, we live longer; as we live longer, our healthcare needs increase.  As expected, and as it should be, healthcare spending will continue to rise as a percentage of our personal and national income.

I think this trend will continue until we finally figure out how to cure aging. After that, I do not know what we will spend our money on.  In the meantime, check out the financial benefits of a Health Savings Account.  And if you are choosing a new career field, consider the outlook for healthcare.