The white paper describes the root causes of America’s poor health value and then stresses the fundamentals of our strategy to turn it around for self-insured employers.
There are three reasons why a solution now is time-critical:
1. Healthcare’s contribution to the grim 2021 macroeconomic landscape
Even before the 2018 tax cut increased the 2019 deficit to $984 billion, it was clear that the combination of our aging population and the world’s highest healthcare costs was on a collision course with financial disruption.
The increased costs and reduced revenue caused by the COVID pandemic has caused the Federal 2020 deficit to balloon to $3.1 trillion (the highest debt to revenue ratio since the final push to win World War II in 1945).
In May 2020, hospitals received a $175 billion federal subsidy to offset their increased costs and decreased revenue secondary to COVID. This $175 billion compares to the 2018 aggregate community hospital profits of $76 billion in 2018.
2. Income Disparity and Health
The income disparity in the US has been increasing since the 1970s. This is a major health concern because of the high correlation between low incomes and poor health. Since COVID, the rate of health disparity related to income has increased dramatically. The wealth of the billionaires in the US increased by $637 billion between March and June 2020 – greater than the total income of the 31 million Americans that the lowest 20% of American employees earned in 2018.
3. The Negative Impact of COVID on Lifestyle Choices
Preliminary data on lifestyle choices in 2020 shows that we may be eating more snacks and exercising less leading to early data showing weight gains at double the rate of the increase of the past forty years.