Financial pollution arises when exorbitant or unnecessary healthcare spending depletes resources needed for the wellbeing of the population. This is the subject of a JAMA Health Forum Insight co-authored by researchers in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Pilgrim Health Care Institute and Harvard Medical School. The Insight was published in the March 8, 2021 issue […]U.S. healthcare system full of financial pollution, study. — Scientific Inquirer
I invite readers and followers of Fixing U.S. Healthcare blog to review this article. It drives home the point that excessive spending on healthcare poses opportunity costs not only at the macro level (research, education, environment, etc.) but at the micro household level. Scientific Inquirer bloggers and original JAMA authors term this “financial pollution,” to capture the pervasiveness and insidious harm of this phenomenon.
This lines up with a RAND Corporation study, often cited by Fixing U.S. Healthcare blog, which showed that all of American workers’ gains in wages during the first decade of the 2000s was offset by increased premiums and copays, keeping their take-home pay flat. This “polluted” their opportunity to buy goods and services of more value to them.