Quick Correction

Wednesday, August 26th, 2009

In my Bloggingheads.tv discussion with Matthew Yglesias yesterday, I casually mentioned that Americans spend 40 percent of their income on health care. The number sounded ridiculous as soon as it left my mouth. And it was! This is a peril of these sorts of off-the-cuff but public chats, I guess—not to mention of pontificating on topics outside one’s primary area of expertise.

Anyway, I wasn’t remotely close. The real figure looks to be between 5 and 15 percent.

Health care spending as a percentage of GDP is around 18 percent.

I’ll now humbly link to my Reason colleagues’ more informed work on the health care debate.

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7 Responses to “Quick Correction”

  1. #1 |  Cynical In CA | 

    No worries Radley.

    If beer and weed can be included as a health care cost (and, really, why not?), then an easy 40% of my net income goes to health care.

    So I know where you’re coming from.

  2. #2 |  B | 

    Good on you.

    But do you have any idea where 40% might have popped into your head? I’m just curious…

    I never watch bloggingheads (mostly because I can read you guys about 10x faster than you can talk) but I have to admire the willingness to be recorded and broadcast in such an unfiltered fashion.

  3. #3 |  James D | 

    I figured you were just looking into the future for that number … considering how rapidly it’s been growing.

  4. #4 |  jppatter | 

    Imagine a world where EVERY journalist quickly and publicly corrected their mistakes. Ah, dreaming is so relaxing.

  5. #5 |  Aresen | 

    James D beat me to it.

  6. #6 |  greenish | 

    Maybe it could have been some analysis like this?. Of course, it’s just an extrapolation

  7. #7 |  Larry Roberts | 

    So does this mean you won’t be doing any more pontificating outside your area of expertise?

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