Healthcare spending is always a hot topic, particularly in the run-up to a presidential election. With total healthcare expenditures in the U.S. equal to the entire GDP of France ($2.6 trillion), it would seem an easy task to find some areas to trim in an effort to save just 1%. Based on an analysis from Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel, columnist and bioethicist, there simply is not an easy way to reduce healthcare spending by even such a modest amount.

From the article:

[I]t turns out that the combined profits of the country’s five largest for-profit health insurance companies — United, WellPoint, Aetna, Humana and Cigna — were $11.7 billion, only 0.5 percent of total health care spending. Even confiscating every penny of those profits would add up to less than half of the cost-saving threshold.

Check out the entire analysis of this issue, with links to even more information, on the Freakonomics site.