Last week I posted Paul London’s Beware Inflation Hawks.

Today: Kevin Drum’s How High Is Medical Inflation?  (Thanks, Matt.)

One obvious answer: Too high!

See, for example, One hundred and ninety-three House Republicans voted against capping the price of insulin at $35 a month.  (“Americans pay about five to eight times more for insulin than Canadians do.”)

But Drum’s answer: perhaps not as high as you think, though exceptionally hard to calculate:


. . . If the average treatment for a heart attack cost $100,000 in the year 2000 and provided five extra years of life, how does that compare to a modern treatment that costs $115,000 (adjusted for inflation) but provides seven? The cost of the treatment is 15% more, but the cost per additional year of life has gone down 18%. So what’s the right inflation measurement for that?


I get that gas and food prices are all most people see.

And that too few recognize Putin caused a huge spike in both (Ukraine being one of the world’s principal breadbaskets) . . .

. . . with much of the rest of the inflation coming from COVID: supply chain disruptions plus the huge fiscal and monetary stimulus to avoid a depression.

(So don’t vote for Putin or his fans.  Don’t vote for Trump, who slashed the CDC task forces Obama pre-positioned around the world after Ebola — or for his fans.)


Instead, read: This Will Not Pass, the book generating all those tapes out of the Trump White House.  Democracy is on the line — which didn’t sound like more than talk in Germany and Italy 90 years ago . . . but then democracy was lost, and only restored with unimaginable pain.

Putin admires Stalin; Trump admires Putin and kept a book of Hitler’s speeches by his bedside; Republicans admire Trump and strip Liz Cheney of power for daring to defy him.

Will we step up in time?  Or give only once it’s too late to be adequately effective?

 

 

Comments are closed.