Bill Gates On Health Care, Technology

The February 7 – February 13 2011 Bloomberg BusinessWeek had an interview of Bill Gates by Charlie Rose (“Charlie Rose talks to Bill Gates“).

There are two excerpts, seen below, that I found especially interesting, although I don’t necessarily agree with what Gates says.

Rose’s questions are in bold.  For now I will simply post them and may comment upon them further in the future:

What do you conclude about U.S. spending on health care vs. the rest of the world?
We spend 17.8 percent of our GDP on health care. And the next highest is at 12 percent. You have some, like Britain, who are down at 9 percent. That is just mind-blowing. And our outcomes aren’t better. The incentive system exists to have all sorts of ways of spending money on 70-year-olds and 80-year-olds—spend $100,000 on this, spend a half-million dollars on that. You’re taking resources away from the young. Anything you can invent, we have no metric that would hold us back. So, innovation is inventing ways of taking resources away from the young, whether that’s education or anything else.

Technology has been good to the U.S. Are we losing our momentum?
We’d have to keep making a lot of mistakes for several decades before we’d lose that edge. It’s great that other countries are more innovative. When my child gets sick, I won’t look at the pill and say, “Oh, my gosh, it’s made in China.” If they invent something that can save my child’s life, I’ll say, “Hallelujah.” But the U.S. lead is very strong. Our universities, our funding of research, it’s pretty amazing. Smart people still want to come to this country. Do we make it as easy for them as we ought to? I don’t think so. But we have time to renew our excellence in how we educate, the excellence of our immigration system, in how we invest in young people.


A Special Note concerning our economic situation is found here

SPX at 1343.01 as this post is written