Diane Francis on American Politics

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Oil Imports a Problem. Duh!

Oil imports represent roughly 40% of the U.S. trade deficit which is too high at 6% of GDP. The State of the Union speech represents a long-overdue and, frankly, inadequate shift in policy.

Next problem is the health care bill which, at 16% of GDP, is not only vastly understated but 50% higher than the bills of Canada, Switzerland, Japan and most European nations.

The health care tab is vastly understated because it doesn't include: the toll in productivity due to sick, uninsured workers; the cost to the economy as a result of the carving out of workers who have grave illnesses and cannot be insured or employed as well as the cost to the economy of litigation by insurers and plaintiffs over medical expenses.

Stay tuned on both issues.


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