Modern health care is not “recession-proof”
Health care is no longer a “people get sick and need medical care” business. Modern health care is typified not be acute illness, but by often asymptomatic chronic disease states. Modern health care is elective or semi-elective procedures such as joint replacement surgery or colonoscopy. Modern health care is not medicine that makes us feel better, but rather prevents complications ten and twenty years down the road with little bearing on today. This modern health care of chronic disease accounts for 75% of Medicare costs, while only 25% is of the old “people get sick and need medical care” variety. Modern health care is easily abandoned in the short term when money is tight.
Ceci Connolly and Kendra Marr wrote a story in the Washington Post a couple of weeks ago that agrees with the Country Doc’s assessment. And here is a story about cancer patients refusing treatment due to the cost.