Thursday, June 27, 2013

Entertainment Healthcare Summit 2013

The Motion Picture and Television Fund (founded by Douglas Fairbanks, Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin and D.W. Griffith in 1921) reported to assembled IATSE Business Agents this afternoon about the Industry Summit that happened on Thursday, May 30th. Among the takeaways:

Annual Per Capita Healthcare Expenditures

Italy -- $2,852

Finland -- $3,093

Belgium -- $3,969

Canada -- $4,205

New Zealand -- $3,022

Switzerland -- $5,270

United States -- $7,910

A couple of weeks ago, a supervisor at one of TAG's larger animation studios said how much he likes the health coverage he's gotten through the years from the Motion Picture Industry Health Plan. He then told me about a buddy working in Canada who hates the nationalized, single-payer coverage he gets up there.

I replied that he might find it terrible, but the Canadians get better results from their provincial plans than we get down here, to wit:

Life Expectancy

Canada -- 80.2 years

United States -- 78 years

Infant Mortality Rate Per 1000

United States -- 5.9

Canada -- 4.78

(Regarding life expectancies, Forbes Magazine presents a counter argument here. It says if we take out the car accidents and the gun fatalities, the U.S. is number one in longevity.)

The problem, per the Summit:

"The dollars spent on health care are not yielding the desired return on investment by any measure."

"The U.S. health statistics in any age group are worse than 16 other high income countries. Yet we spend almost twice as much of our Gross Domestic Product (17.2%) on health care."

This is all old news, I guess. We have a health care delivery system (actually multiple health care delivery systems) which is expensive.

There are various remedies, none ideal. but then, there are no perfect solutions, only better and worse. Switzerland, with the next most expensive health care system, has private insurance that is heavily regulated. We're going to try a mixture of market competition, subsidies, and regulation.

We'll see how it goes. (My bet: We will still have the most expensive health care system going. But maybe we can, as they say, "bend the curve.")


Oswald Cox said...


We are all on the precipce of a new era in this town with less jobs and more regulation. Jobs scurrying across borders (like Titmouse opening doors on a new Vancouver studio) and the entire industry developing strategies to deny employees health care.

Obamacare hits Hollywood:

And even our union is going to get hit with big fees:

Get ready to pay MORE for a lot LESS.

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