By Bill Bonner – Bill Bonner’s Diary (USA) –
“The Donald” – still in Manhattan, and still largely ignorant of the nasty critters and perverse ecosystem on the banks of the Potomac – is catching whiffs of swamp gas.
Talking to the New York Post, the president-elect said he expected to repeal Obamacare “sometime next week.”
Its replacement, he said, would come “very shortly thereafter.”
Dom Pérignon and Caviar
In the business world, you can get things done like that. But in the world of the Deep State, it won’t happen.
America’s health care system is bread, butter, meat, potatoes… and Dom Pérignon with caviar… to a substantial and growing part of the elite.
When we were growing up, we had no health insurance. When we had to go to the doctor – which was rare – we paid the bill in cash. (When we needed an operation in 1961, we negotiated with the hospital and the surgeon to pay in installments.)
Back then, the total yearly cost of health care ran about $600 per family of four. Last year, it was more than $40,000.
By comparison, a basic Ford F-150 pickup truck cost about $4,000 in 1961. Today, it costs about $27,000.
Today’s pickup truck and today’s health care are probably better than they were in 1961. But how come the former is only seven times more expensive… while the latter is 66 times pricier?
The answer is simple: The feds – with their zombie-crony allies – are far more active in health care than they are in the auto industry.
The auto industry is lean, global, and competitive; the health care industry is fat, domestic, and heavily controlled to avoid price competition.
Through regulation, paperwork, third-party payment systems, lawyers, licensing, tax incentives, subsidies, and crony deals with insurance companies and the pharmaceutical industry, the feds have created a glutton that now devours more than 17% of national GDP – up from just 5% in 1961.
That represents $36 trillion in excess spending over the last 55 years. And it’s a large part of the reason federal debt is slated to go from $20 trillion this month to $30 trillion a decade from now.