Friday, May 05, 2017

Trump Said Something True

(Bernie Sander's reaction to Donald Trump praising Australia's healthcare system)

It is really funny.  This is the kind of funny conservatives have a hard time getting, but it is really funny.  Yesterday, the President was doing the obligatory quick, post-meet-and-greet press conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, and he says to the PM, "I shouldn't say this to our great gentleman and my friend from Australia because you have better health care than we do."

Here's the simple wiki on the subject of Healthcare in Australia.  As you can see, they have universal healthcare, with most of the funding, about two-thirds, from their version of Medicare, or as they call it, Medicare.  It's a mixed system, public and private, but the tax scheme for the Medicare is pretty much of the opposite of what we do.  Instead of capping the payroll tax for Medicare so you only pay on your first $127,000 of income, in Australia the tax stays the same, and can rise with higher income, with a conditional 1-1.5% penalty added.  This is actually to encourage use of the private system by the wealthy.  If they use the private system, they don't have to pay the extra.   If you are making a lot of money, you could imagine that 1-1.5% being higher than what you'd pay for private insurance, but you'd have to be really raking it in, and here in America, you'd have to be well up in the six-digits, at least.

Here's the thing...

Australia's healthcare system, when it comes to costs, is far more efficient than ours.  They spend, per capita, almost half what we do.

The WHO ranking, which has really only to do with outcomes, puts Australia a little ahead of us, but in pretty much every category, they have it better than us.

The Australian government, the taxpayers, spend about the same as we do on healthcare, but it covers 2/3rds of all costs, the rest is private insurance and out-of-pocket.  We spend a fortune on private insurance, but our government only covers 45% of all costs, and that's only because getting old is expensive, and we only universally cover people 65 and over.  By covering everyone, you can see the effect of the offset on the higher costs for the elderly in those numbers.

So, we spend double what Australians spend, we live shorter lives, we die unnecessarily at twice the rate, even our infant mortality is higher, therefore I can honestly and with humility admit Trump said something true.



  1. Yeah, I laughed my a*s off and then did a post today as well.

    Trumpistas really are challenged. They irony is over their head.

  2. Spending too much for things is a symptom of greatness.

  3. "By covering everyone, you can see the effect of the offset on the higher costs for the elderly in those numbers."

    Yes. Australia's population is approximately 24 million people. We're a country of approx. 340 million. If we built a health care system like the Australians, we'd have as good or even better outcomes for our citizens.

    "It is difficult to get a GOP politician to understand something, when his contributions from insurance company execs depend upon his not understanding it!"

  4. If only Asclepius could heal Plutus' eyesight!