Hcs/440 Health Care Spending

Topics: Health insurance, Health economics, Health maintenance organization Pages: 10 (1584 words) Published: October 15, 2012
Health Care Spending

Terri Adams-Smith


October 8, 2012

John Branner

In 2002, the United States spent $5,267 per capita on health care. Higher prices for health

services such as prescription drugs, doctor’s visits and hospital stays have been contributors to

the rising numbers (Anderson, Hussey, & Frogner, 2005). Both public and private health

expenditures are growing at rates, which outpace comparable countries (The Henry J. Kaiser

Family Foundation, 2011). This paper will explain ones position on national health care

spending in the United States.

Health care expenditures

Health expenditures in The United States inched toward $2.6 trillion in 2010. This is up 10

times $256 billion spent in the United States since 1980. Recent growth has slowed

relatively to the late 1990s and early 2000s it is expected to grow at a rate faster than the

national income in the near future (The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, n.d).

In the past decade United States has been facing a recession that has resulted in higher

unemployment and lower income levels for many Americans. The United States present position

has drawn attention to the health spending and affordability (The Henry J. Kaiser Family

Foundation, n.d).

Over the past 10 years employer-sponsored health coverage has increased by 97%, putting a

burden employers and workers. Medicare provides coverage to the elderly and people with

disabilities and Medicaid provides coverage to lower income families. Medicare enrollment has

increased because of the aging of Baby Boomers although the enrollment for Medicaid has

increased because to the recession. These increases have had an effect on the government

spending increasing considerably, placing a strain on the federal and state budgets. The Health

care expenditures account for 17.9% and of the United States national Gross Domestic Product.

Hospital care and physician/clinical services combined account for 51% of the nation’s health

expenditures (The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, n.d).

Too Much or Too Little

The American people have the most update technology available to him or her for his or her

medical treatments’ but lack the insurance to cover the cost of basic health care. Often

Americans can cover his or her personal health care cost, but the rising prices and

employment patterns have affected his or her ability to do so (Wollf, 2012).

Universal health care coverage is not offered here in the United States; 85% of Americans

have health insurance through a health insurance company or a government-sponsored health

insurance. Although there is a growing popularity for boutique medicine people who cannot

afford insurance or want treatments or physicians not covered by his or her health plan must pay

out- of -pocket (Wollf, 2012).

Over half of American people receive health insurance through his or her employer or a

spouse or his or her parent’s employer. Medical insurance for the elderly, federal employees,

military members, veterans, and low income people are covered under the

government. Directly purchase insurance plans can be expensive if purchased individually

(Wollf, 2012).

Affordability is a complicated problem in the United States health care system. Employment

and insurance has made it difficult for the unemployed or self-employed to afford health care in

the United States. Employers are finding it very harder to supply health care to his or her

employees (Wollf, 2012).

Employers are seeking to hire part-time employees or freelance workers instead of full-time

employees to dodge the health care cost. Often insures become lax in paying claims, which in

return physicians drop the insurance plan or opt to take certain ones. Prescription drugs have also

became a problem for...

References: American College of Physicians, (2011). Health Care Coverage, Capacity and Cost: What Does
the Future Hold? Retrieved from A Report from America’s Internists on the State of America’s
HealthCare http://www.acponline.org/advocacy/events/state_of_healthcare/snhcbrief2011.pdf
Anderson, G.F., Hussey, P.S., & Frogner, B.K., (2005)
Linker, A. (2009). How much is too much spending on health care? Retrieved from the Progressive Pulse http://pulse.ncpolicywatch.org/2009/05/18/how-much-is-too-much-to-spend-on-health-care/
The Henry J
The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, (n.d). U.S. Health Care Costs, Background. Retrieved from http://www.kaiseredu.org/Issue-Modules/US-Health-Care-Costs/Background-Brief.aspx
Wollf, J.D., (2012)
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