So between school, job search and writing for a few other places I’ve been really bad this last month, but I’ll get back on it.

Anyway, take a look at this:

image from: Center for Economic and Policy Research Center

image from: Center for Economic and Policy Research Center

Ouch, that hurts.  The orange line shows the massive spike in budget deficit if we continue to spend as much as we do per capita on health care.  The other lines that look like a pretty sloping hill are what our budget would look like if all other spending stayed the same but we dropped our healthcare costs to what the UK, Canada, France, and Germany pay per capita.  It is worth it to also note that all of these countries have life expectancies that far exceed that of the US.

Now the truth is that no matter the steps we take we’ll never spend as little on health care as France and its unlikely that we’ll even approach UK levels but I think this graph sums up nicely the opportunity we have to ease the burden of our national debt and save some money.  On the flip side this graph also tells me that if we don’t act soon to curb this trend we will compromise our competitiveness (and lower quality of life by spending an increasing portion of income on inferior health care.)

Props to Ezra Klein for the graph.