Health Care Spending

Topics: Health insurance, Health economics, Health care Pages: 6 (2141 words) Published: September 25, 2013

Health Care Spending
My position on national health care spending is way too much monies is going out and not enough people supporting the problem. A universal health care plan for every man, woman, and child who resides in the United States is the most economical way to achieve this goal. All working citizens must have monies automatically taken out of their paychecks and if you can afford more than the basic plan, then there will be plans available that you can upgrade to like Aflac. No matter how poor or how rich you are, everyone has the basic plan and everyone contributes to that plan. In this paper we will discuss the current level of national health care expenditures, the level of spending, where the nation should cut, and how the general public’s needs are being paid by, to finally doing some forecasting of future economic needs. At a NCSL Legislative Summit in August, 2013 it was noted that America spends, on average, nearly $9,000 per person on health care each year. The cost to the nation is $2.8 trillion, almost 18 percent of the GDP. The GDP is projected to be at 19.6 percent by 2021 (National Conference of State Legislation, 2013). In the projected years of 2011-2021 Medicare is expected to have a growth of 6.1% per year average over these years, Medicaid growth is expected to be 8.2% per year, private spending average per year 5.3%. By 2021, federal, state, and local government health care spending is projected to be nearly 50 percent of the national health expenditures, up from 46 percent in 2011, with federal spending accounting for about two-thirds of the government share (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2013). One of the current issues is that of are we spending too much or too little on health care. The issue is not how much health care people are using but the fact that the American people are paying too much for it. I feel that health care in the United States is a commodity not a good that is used for the good of the people, but is a driven by what the market will stand. When comparing the United States to other countries for example if we are paying on the average of $59 for an office visit, in France they are paying only $31 for that visit. The doctors in the United States make substantially more money than their colleges in other parts of the world. Going in for a hospital stay the average stay is $3,181 compared to $837 in Canada. Every test that we do from lab work to MRI scan cost twice as much in this country than in any other country. Also prescription drugs are higher here than in any other country. The biggest reason other countries understand that health care is a public good , not a commodity is that markets can’t control health care prices, since it is health care providers who decide what care is delivered. When providers determine both supply and demand, market economics don’t apply. Some of the elected officials would like to turn Medicare over to the private insurance sector. Which makes no sense to someone like me, due to I feel that private insurance companies fail to control prices. Medicare at least has a price fix that they will pay for certain services. In other countries the government is responsible for getting the lowest prices in health care spending. Whereas in the United States the employers are responsible not the individuals for getting the lowest cost for their insurance, it is market driven on insurance purchases. Even though Americans have a higher income, they still pay more out of pocket for health care than any other developed country. According to a CMS, national health expenditure data sheet the projected NHE for 2011-2012 is the NHE is estimated to have grown 309 percent in 2011 and projected to grow an average of 5.7 percent per year over the projection period(2011-2021); The health share of GDP is estimated to have reached 17.9 percent in 2011 and projected to grow to 19.6 percent by 2021; Medicare spending is estimated to have...

References: Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. (2013). NHE Fact Sheet. Retrieved from
Fogel, R. (2009). Forecasting the Cost of U.S. Healthcare. Retrieved from
Gengler, A (2011). The future of your health care. Retrieved from
Huckabee, M. (2006, July). A Vision For A Healthier America: What The States Can Do. Health Affairs, 25(4), 1005-1008.
National Conference of State Legislation. (2013). Health Finance Issues. Retrieved from
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