The Rising Cost of Healthcare
There is no doubt that healthcare cost are rising out of control. No one likes the
increases, but it is far more understandable when considering all the reasons for these increases. American people look at their insurance bills, co-pays and drug costs, and can't understand why they continue to increase. The insured should consider all of these reasons before getting upset. In 2004, employee health care premiums increased over 11 percent, four times more than the rate of inflation. In 2003, premiums rose 10.1 percent and in 2002 they rose 15 percent. Employee spending for coverage increased 126 percent between 2000 and 2004. Those increases were lower than expected. (National Coalition on Health Care, 2005, Facts on health care costs). Premiums have risen five times faster than workers wages, on average. If medical spending continues to rise by just two percent more than personal income, by 2040 Medicare and Medicaid would hit 18.5 percent of the gross domestic product, leading the federal deficit to be 20.7 of the gross domestic product. (Melcer, R., 2004, St Louis Post-Dispatch, Rising Costs of healthcare pose huge challenges). There are huge impacts of the rising costs. Many people can not afford health insurance. Of the families that do have health coverage, 50 percent are concerned about having to pay more for that coverage in the future, while 42 percent fear they will not be able to afford coverage at all. (National Coalition on Healthcare, 2005, Facts on healthcare costs). This fact leads me to one of the reasons for health care cost increases: cost sharing or cost shifting. When an individual or family does not have insurance, and can not or does not pay their medical bills, the cost of...
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