If pictures are worth a thousand words, then numbers are worth five hundred. Here are a few numbers to provide perspective on the healthcare debate.


Surely we can do better than this…

From David Goldhill’s article in The Atlantic:

Number of deaths each year from patients infected while in the hospital: 100,000 (more than twice than from motor vehicle accidents).

Number of deaths from blood clots following surgery: 200,000.


Exploding costs…

Also from Goldhill in The Atlantic:

Percentage of Medicare & Medicaid spending to total government spending in 1966: 1%. Today: 20% (and rising).

‘The federal government spends 8 times more on healthcare as it does education, 12 times what it spends on food aid … 30 times what it spends on law enforcement, 78 times what it spends on land management and conservation, 87 times what it spends on water supply, and 830 times what it spends on energy conservation.

The cost of power…

From Matt Taibbi’s article in Rolling Stone:

Amount of financial support from the health sector each of the republicans in the senate’s ‘group of six’—considered the de facto key actors in the senate on healthcare reform—have received.

Grassley – $2,034,000.

Snowe – $756,000.

Enzi – $627,000.