Health Care Spending

Topics: Health economics, Health care, Medicine Pages: 5 (1699 words) Published: May 4, 2013
Health Care Spending
HCS 440

Health Care Spending
Health care spending in the United States is a key contributor to the country's economy. The health care industry provides employment as well as providing services that bring healthier lifestyles, better productivity, and a longer life. Health care also brings the development of new drugs and new medical technology that also helps keep the economy employed. However, although the health care and health care spending does tend to help the economy slightly it is beginning to hinder our economy. "In all industrialized countries, with the exception of the United States, health care affordability is ensured through universal insurance based or tax- finances systems" (Squires, 2012, p. 1). Even though the United States spends more in health care than other countries it does not mean the United States has better quality of care than the other countries. Health care spending is depleting this country and the quality of care is not improving. The United States needs to change the way it spends money on health care before it is too late. Current National Health Care Expenditures

In 1980 the health care expenditure was at $256 billion, in 2010 the expenditure went up more than 10 times to $2.6 trillion. The spending, however, has slowed in the last few years. The health care expenditure was growing rapidly from the late 1900s to the early 2000s but has slowed slightly. However, it is still expected that the health care spending will grow faster than the national income. The recession has also played a major role in the health care expenditure, more Americans are unemployed and have lower incomes and cannot afford the health care it has put more attention on health care spending. Employer-sponsored health care coverage has increased in the last few years, which has burdened the employers with health care costs. Also Medicare and Medicaid have a big burden today, the baby boomers have come to age to receive Medicare which has placed more burden on Medicare. Because of the unemployment rate enrollment in Medicaid has also increased. According to "Kaiser Edu.Org: Health Policy Explained" (2012) "This means that total government spending has increased considerably, straining federal and state budgets. In total, health spending accounted for 17.9% of the nation's Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2010"(para. 2). Spending Too Much

The breakdown of how the United States. health care dollar is spent is like this; 31% in hospital care, 20% in physician/clinical services, 7% in other professional services, 6% in net cost of health insurance, 6% in investment, 5% in other health residential and personal care, 5% in nursing home care, 3% in home health care, 3% in retail- other products, 3% in government public health activities, and 1% in government administration. The health care spending in the U.S. is incredibly high. There are a few factors that seem to be driving the health care spending up which are technology and prescription drugs, rise in chronic disease, and administrative costs. Technology and prescription drugs have been a major contributor for the increase in health care spending. Health care believes that they need the most expensive and cutting edge technology to improve the quality of health care. These technology and prescription drugs are fueling health care spending and are not always very cost effective. The other aspect driving health care cost is the rise in chronic diseases. According to "Kaiser Edu. Org: Health Policy Explained" (2012) "It is estimated that health care costs for chronic disease treatment account for over 75% of national health expenditures" (para. 4). Although Americans are living longer lives, they are not living healthy lifestyles. In America there is an increase in people who are overweight and obese that also causes chronic disease as well as old age. The last contributor is administrative costs, according to "Kaiser Edu.Org: Health...
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