U.S. Health Care Seems To Be Driven by “Moron’s Law”

March 22nd, 2012 by Leave a Comment

By Ross Mason

Ross Mason, Senior Fellow, Georgia Public Policy Foundation

The United States spent $2.4 trillion on health care in 2011. If that represented a country, it would be the world’s sixth-largest economy. Health care accounted for more than 17.3 percent of the U.S. gross domestic product (GDP) in 2010, a larger share of GDP than any other developed nation.

“Moore’s Law,” which states that “computing capacity will double every 18 months” on smaller, cheaper processing platforms for larger and larger markets, was the driving force behind U.S. global IT dominance. By contrast, health care seems to be driven by “Moron’s Law.” Costs have been increasing over 18 percent each year – year after year – without corresponding improvements in quality, access or outcomes.

To remain globally competitive, it is widely agreed, the United States must reduce the growth in health care spending. Applying innovative solutions to health care costs is the best solution; This will grow the economy while reducing spending and the nation’s debt.

Georgia is well positioned to be a leader in global health innovation. Georgia has a competitive advantage in many areas that can drive early-stage job creation. These include:

  • Georgia has the strongest health-care information technology (IT) industry in the country
  • Georgia ranks second in the nation in bio-medical engineering (behind Maryland’s Johns Hopkins University)
  • Georgia ranks third in the nation in regenerative medical research
  • Georgia is a leader in robotics, nanotechnology and neuroscience
  • Georgia ranks in the top five in the nation in medical device manufacturing and sales
  • Georgia is home to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Task Force on Global Health and the National Health Museum

Creating a Brand

For Georgia to be a national leader in new job creation, it must focus and take advantage of its unique, competitive resources, particularly in health care. The state needs to create a brand that focuses these resources by encouraging early-stage investment, partnering with the military, coordinating research programs, attracting venture philanthropy and promoting strategic public policy.

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(Ross Mason is Founder of HINRI — the Healthcare Institute for Neuro-Recovery and Innovation.   Mason is also a Senior Fellow at the Georgia Public Policy Foundation.)

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