Wednesday, February 16, 2011
People seem to take it as a given that per capita health care spending will continue to grow for a long time and eventually break the bank. I am not convinced that it will continue to increase faster than inflation. There is not that much cutting (surgery), one of biggest expensive items, that can be done that is not already being done. Researchers have lately been finding that some surgeries do not help with survivability, this could lead to less surgery. On one of the other big spending items, cancer treatments, new ways of controlling cancers are likely to less expensive and more effective than the current methods. It is my impression that the rate of new drugs coming to the market has slowed and the existing drugs will go off patent this should produce some savings. My conclusion, I think that medicine as a percent of GDP may peak in 10 or 15 years at a lower point that most projections predict.