US on 'Collision Course' With Health Care Costs

By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 10, 2009 5:20 PM CST
Medical costs are bound to go up - there's better stuff to buy.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – No matter the outcome of America's upcoming health care debates, costs are going to keep rising—and that’s a sign of success, David Brown writes in the Washington Post. Medical treatments are improving for dozens of ailments, and so far Americans are willing to pay. But "we are on a collision course between our wish to live longer, healthier lives, and our capacity to pay for that wish," writes Brown.

Throughout history, humans have worked mostly to pay for food, but that era is over in countries like the US, where the average person spends less than 10% of income on eating—and 16% on health care. “Health care is the new food,” Brown writes. "We'll cut corners" to pay for it, he says. "We'll complain. And then we'll find other corners to cut and reluctantly pay still more."