Health Care Reform Essay

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Healthcare Financial Reform Proposal
Sandra Xavier
Grand Canyon University: HCA 240
Professor Tina Block
July 8, 2012

Healthcare Financial Reform Proposal
I believe healthcare reform is a waste of time and money but I also see that it can be beneficial to many uninsured Americans. First of all, health care costs keep rising and in 2011 the average cost for a family of four increased by 7.3% or $19,393. This is double the cost estimated in 2003, and by 2030 payroll taxes will cover only 38% of Medicare Costs and the rest will be added to our already enormous budget deficit. Second, health care reform is needed to improve the quality of care, which is the worst in the developed world. Chronic diseases cause almost 70% of deaths in the United States and effect 45% of all Americans. As our population ages, the incidence of this will continue to rise. By 2023 cancer and diabetes will increase 50%, heart disease 40% and hypertension and lung disease will be up by 30%. Each year, the cost of treatment totals $1.7 trillion, representing 75% of all health care dollars spent. The cost can be lowered through disease prevention and wellness programs (Amadeo, 2011). Third, health care reform is needed because approximately 25% of Americans have little or no health care insurance to cover their health care costs and over 101,000 Americans die every year simply because they have insurance. Fourth, health care reform is needed to stem the economic costs of health care fraud, approximately between 3 – 10%, or $60 - $200 billion is lost to fraud each year and if those same percentages are applied to the $436 billion Medicare program, the cost of Medicare fraud is $14 - $30 billion (About.com US Economy 2011). The HITECH act will promote the meaningful use of health information technology and electronic medical records. This will enable the development of a nationwide infrastructure allowing the electronic use and exchange of information. The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will require states to pay physicians for Primary care services furnished in 2013 and 2014 at a rate no less than 100 percent of the Medicare payment rate. Up to 4 million small businesses are eligible for tax credits to help them provide insurance benefits to their workers. The first phase of this provision provides a credit worth up to 35% of the employer’s contribution to the employees’ health insurance. Small non-profit organizations may receive up to a 25% credit. As of September 23, 2010, the Affordable Care Act has initiated several changes which will lead to a major overhaul of the proposed universal health care plan in the future. The current U.S. health care system contributes $2.5 trillion or nearly 18% to our Gross Domestic Product and health care costs keep rising. The increase in health care coverage is because of a number of factors: Hospital costs, expensive innovative procedures and malpractice lawsuits because physicians are more likely to over-test in order to avoid getting sued (about.com 2011). Another reason is because there is less price competition than other industries, such as consumer electronics. Most do not pay cash for health care, the costs are hidden because they only pay copay and their insurance pays the rest. As a result, patients do not price shop for doctors, lab tests for procedures as they would for a computer. There lacks a large amount of transparency which could allow consumers to make cost effective decision making and to expose negotiated rates by procedure and facility (Fierce Health Finance.com). As a patient, I have a right to be informed of the costs involved in care and quality of care provided. “All consumers deserve to know the quality and cost of their health care” according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. “By providing reliable cost and quality information will empower the consumer’s choice. It also creates incentives at...
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