July 1, 2012
Health Care Spending Paper
Health care costs for individuals in the United States have increased and will continue to increase. The number of people needing care and insurance is one of the major factors in health care spending. Another factor is the amount needed to be spent on new equipment and technology which will always continue to change. The U.S. health care spending accounts for 16% of the gross domestic product (GDP), which is the highest compared to other countries. Although the American populations have benefited from the investments made in health care, it still puts strains on the systems used to finance health care, such as private and public insurance programs. Many people are still without insurance and those who do have insurance have seen their out-of-pocket expenses grow from their deductibles and copayments (Kaiser Family Foundation, n.d.). Health Expenditures
The national health expenditures currently have reached $2.1 trillion. According to Forman (2008), “This translated into $7,026 per person and 16% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP)” (para. 3). Both of these records are the highest among the nations. The hospital spending accounts for 31% of the national health care expenditure, which continues to grow. Due to a 0.2% Medicare fee schedule update for physicians in 2006, the physician expenditure is at an generally low rate at 5.9%. Prescription drug spending has increased to 19% due to the implementation of Medicare Part D. Administrative cost have also grown over the years and is currently at 8.8% in the health care spending expenditure. The growth of this is due to the amount of Medicare beneficiaries who have enrolled in the Medicare Advantage plans. Medicaid spending has for the first time ever, decreased in the amount spent on health care, partly due to Medicare Part D (Forman, 2008). Spending too much?
The level of health care spending is too high and continues to...