Health Care Spending
Carolyn L. Porter
June 18, 2012
Health Care Spending
For many people who go to see their doctors periodically they already know and understand that health care cost has risen. Simply go to the pharmacist to get a prescription filled, and they will see firsthand just how expensive paying for medicines has also risen. Take a little time and walk through Walgreens and CVS and look at the medicines on the shelves and view the price increases just in the past year and your wallet will start screaming. The cost of health care is still constantly rising, and it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. People are paying more for health care ...view middle of the document...
Some experts argue that although the health care bill, as proposed by Obama and congressional Democrats expands benefits, and seeks to implement insurance reforms that would inaugerate coverage to a wider scope of people, it does not address the core issues behind rising health care costs. Proponents of the legislation argue that it is a start and creates the foundation for sustainable changes in the long term” (Huma Khan, 2010, Page 1). Health care cost is rising because of some main factors and they are
1. Medical Technology
2. Administrative Cost
3. Disease and Aging
4. Medical Malpractice
5. Prescription Drugs
“Medical technology has helped advanced the medical field by leaps and bounds, but it’s also increased health care spending. A report by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the use of high-tech medical tests and surgeries escalated rapidly over the past decade” (Huma Khan, 2010, Page 1).
“In 1999, health administration costs totaled at least $294.3 billion in the United States, or $1,059 per capita, as compared with $307 per capita in Canada. After exclusions, administration accounted for 31.0 % of health care expenditures in the United States
and 16.7 % of health care expenditures in Canada. Canada’s national health insurance
program had overhead of 1.3 % ; the overhead among Canada’s private insurers as higher than that in the United States (13.2 percent vs. 11.7 %). Providers administrative cost was far lower in Canada. Between 1969 and 1999, the share of the U.S. health care labor force accounted for by administrative workers grew from 18.2 % to 27.3 %. In Canada, it grew from 16.0 % in 1971 to 19.1 % in 1996. (Both nations’ figures exclude insurance- industry personnel.) The gap between United States and Canadian spending on health care administration has grown to $752 per capita. A large sum may be saved in the United States if administrative costs could be trimmed by implementing a Canadian-style health care system”
(Steffie Woolhandler, MD, MPH, Terry Campbell, MHA, and David Himmelstein, MD).
“There is no question that obesity has raised an alarming rate in the United States. One-third of all adults fell in the obese category in 2007-2008, according the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. As the baby boomer generation retires, there is increasing pressure on the cost structure to treat ailments. Health care costs for chronic disease treatment account for 75 percent of national health expenditures, according to Kaiser” (Huma Khan, 2010, Page 1).
“Rapidly rising medical malpractice premiums have become an issue of increasing concern for physicians, policy makers, and the general public. Premiums rose by an average of 15 percent between 2000 and 2002, according to the Congressional Budget Office, while physicians in certain medical specialties and geographic areas experienced far greater increases - for example, premiums for general surgeons in one...