February 25, 2013
Health Care Spending
In the past seven decades health care spending has been increasing tremendously. The industrial era brought in a new system to help population duel with the cost of medical care. New technology has become a much needed investing in the 21st century which has yield to a great margin between small and big facilities. When looking at all of these factors there is no wonder the nation is spend way too much money on health care, although at times might seem that there is not enough. It seems that the right investment is needed to help aid those that need help the most the elderly and unemployed, with the economy in a fragile state and unemployment rates increasing with the quarters there is no question that decisions about how we are spending on health care needs to change. Even though so many factors are involved in the spending this paper would focus on our current level of expenditures, how and where is the money spent, forecasting what would be coming next.
Current level of national healthcare expenditures
According to "Physicians for a National Health Program" (2012), “National Health Expenditures was $2.8 trillion, and the spending as a percent of GDP was 18% for 2012” (National Health Expenditure Projections: Modest Annual Growth until Coverage Expands and Economic Growth Accelerates). When looking at these facts many would even argue we are spending quite enough when it comes to healthcare or perhaps too much, however is the complete opposite not enough spending is in the right place. These figures does not represent the spent on one area of health care the graph below will provide an idea as to what, when, and where was spent on 2009.
Total = $2.3 Trillion
Source: Martin A.B. et al., “Growth In US Health Spending Remained Slow in 2010; Health Share of Gross Domestic Product Was Unchanged from 2009,” Health Affairs, 2012.
As shown on the graph 51% of the spending is towards hospital care and physician/clinical services which are great to be invested in, however the rest of the spending in my opinion is not proportionally distribute, yes those areas are extremely important but it would be beneficial if more can be distributed along medication, and other professionals services to include the testing and diagnose of serious illnesses such as cancer. The investment is require to subsidize the needs on these areas, 45 percent of people under age 65 who don't have insurance coverage for prescriptions said they had not filled a prescription in the last year because of the cost. Additionally, 84 percent of working-age people in the U.S. without insurance coverage for prescriptions said they had taken some action such as spending less on groceries or postponing paying other bills in order to pay for their medications, an increase from 71 percent last year (Rowan, 2012). Regarding testing for patients with cancer there should be more funding for the new technology available for test that many patients are not aware, because they cannot afford it or simply because it is not available in their area.
Spending: Too much or not enough?
In 2010, $2.6 trillion was spent on health care services and products, 61 percent of which purchased hospital care, physician and clinical services, and retail prescription drugs. Private health insurance paid for 33 percent, out-of-pocket sources for 12 percent, and other third party payers and programs for 7 percent. The two largest government health care programs, Medicare and Medicaid, purchased $925.1 billion worth of health care goods and services in 2010, accounting for 36 percent of total health care spending (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2012). The increase of cost would continue to rise according to economists, health care managers, and advisors forcing for a new reform to change the system. Thus many are not too please with this idea is a phenomenal that...