US health care costs and inequality

Nice article in the FT by Martin Wolf.  The US now spends 17.6% of GDP on healthcare costs - next highest country is Netherlands with 12% GDP. In US this is predicted to rise to 25% of GDP by 2037. 'Even the US public sector spent a higher share of GDP [on health] than the UK.'


Meanwhile inquality has grown so massively it is almost beyond belief.  The Congressional Budget Office notes that, "the share of total market income received by the top 1% of the [US] population more than doubled between 1979 and 2007, growing from about 10 per cent to more than 20 per cent.'


Wolf concludes that the US must not strangle the tentative signs of recovery and growth by tightening the fiscal position - through cuts in state expenditure.  "The challenges in the longer term are to raise revenue while curbing the cost of health.  Meanwhile, people, just calm down." See Martin Wolf 23 January 2013


In the meantime the two leading US doughnut providers are planning big expansions to provide Americans with their 'affordable indulgence'. Dunkin' Donuts  plans to open 330-60 stores in the US in 2013 to add to its existing stock of 7,200 stores. And Krispy Kreme plans to increase its stock of stores God's Own Country from 240 to 400. Happy eating. (See FT here)

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