Obama's voodoo health-care economics

Burdening families. The report depicts families straining under the burden of health spending and unable to purchase other goods and services. But U.S. Department of Commerce data show that food and energy together have taken up a declining share of Americans’ spending each year since 1960, while housing has consumed a steady share. The result is that Americans have been able to spend more on health care. In fact, these four necessities together use up about the same share of Americans’ spending now (55%) as they did in 1960 (53%). As further evidence, American families are increasing the share of their budget that they spend on recreation.

Averages don’t tell the whole story, and families that can’t afford coverage should be helped. But most Americans can afford the current level of health-care spending. The White House report points to Europe’s skimpier health spending as an example Americans should follow. But 90% of the difference in per capita health spending between Europe and America is due to higher per capita incomes in the U.S. Americans spend more because they earn more, and they get more for it.