B.I.T.E. #4 — Numbed by the Numbers!

How big is $1 trillion? Does anyone really know?
Unless you are an actuary or at the very least a mathematics major most likely you have no idea just like me of the magnitude of this number. Ever since the start of the presidential campaign over two years ago we have been hearing three words thrown around like they were quarters. Million, billion and trillion. When healthcare reform is being discussed, what is really at stake?
Why is it time for someone to sound the alarm? Because the stakes are high and they are greater now than they have ever been in the history of our country. What has happened since the new administration has taken over is that we have been numbed by the numbers. Throughout all of the media, television, newspapers, magazine articles and the Internet, we have heard millions, billions and trillions of dollars being thrown around. It is very hard for anyone to get their mind around the financial concept of how big these numbers really are. Here’s an example that will give you some perspective on what we’re talking about. Let’s look at the measurement of time which is easier for us to comprehend. How big is a million? Let’s  rephrase the question: how much time is 1 million seconds?

1 million seconds is approximately 11 1/2 days.
How much time is 1 billion seconds?

1 billion seconds is approximately 32 years!
How much time is 1 trillion seconds?

1 trillion seconds is approximately 32,000 years!!!
The healthcare industry in America has been measured at approximately $2.4 trillion. Do we really want Uncle Sam taking over 16% of our gross domestic product? This is what is at stake. The point of  B.I.T.E. #4 is to give you some perspective. When the numbers are this big we won’t have a second chance to get health care reform done right.

Matthew T. Berrafato
Elephant Hunter