We’re all going down together

U.S. single-payer system proponents like to point to other industrial nations, especially in Europe, who have lower health-care costs. This is true, but it has become clear costs are rising as swiftly elsewhere. This suggests rising health costs are caused by something other than “the system.”

Standard & Poor’s (S&P) recently warned it might downgrade “a number of highly rated” industrialized nations because they have failed to curb health-care spending.

S&P blames the aging populations in the U.S. and elsewhere for endangering public finances during the first half of the 21st century. Absent reforms (and the Affordable Care Act is unlikely to count), S&P plans credit downgrades in the next three years.

S&P cited an International Monetary Fund study as an afterthought – although it should have been the headline – that technology accounts for up to two-thirds of projected health-care increases.

Bottom line: Nearly every nation is grappling with the same thing. However, it is especially pronounced in rich nations who can afford high-tech health gadgets.