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Health Care Spending Essay

1161 words - 5 pages

Health Care Spending in the United States
Lisa Patti
April 23, 2012
Caryn Callahan

Heath care in the United States is costly and confusing. Many do not follow the facts, policies or cost the government has controlled in health care. This leads to obtaining the incorrect insurance that causes high out of pocket expenses to choosing no health insurance at all. In today’s society many cannot afford health insurance, in 2010 49.9 million people in the United States were without health insurance (Overview of the Uninsured in the United States: A Summary of the 2011 Current Population Survey, 2011). The issues that will be discussed are the level of current nation ...view middle of the document...

During this same projection period spending on Medicare is expected to raise an average of 6.9%, and Medicaid 7.9% per year. In 2009 spending on hospital related services in the United States were estimated at $761 billion dollars and will average an increase of 6.1% over the next decade (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2011). Spending on physician cost and clinical services will grow by 5.4% while prescription drug cost will grow 6.3% during the projected period (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2011).
Health care growth rates continue to exceed the overall gross domestic product (GDP) as health care spending increases. The increase in spending will result in national health care expenditures not being able to support a future health care system. This will have a negative effect on the future of healthcare and society.
Spending too much or not enough
According to CMS health care expenditures have been projected until the year 2020. Each year growth and rates rise. “The government-sponsored share of health spending is projected to increase from 45 percent in 2010 to about 50 percent by 2020, driven by expected robust Medicare enrollment growth, Medicaid coverage expansions, and Exchange plan premium and cost-sharing subsidies(Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2011, para. 4). The average annual Medicare spending growth is anticipated to be 6.3 percent for 2013 through 2020, increasing enrollment as the oldest baby boomers become eligible for Medicare, that will drive up spending, and provisions of the Affordable Care Act that call for reduced fee-for-service provider payment updates and lower payments to private plans (Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services, 2011). With the potential rise of the economy and job rates the steady increase of health care expenditures meets the needs of society. Heath care is always changing and evolving, this is not an area the government should cut costs.
Where spending could be added or cut
Spending should be cut in quantity, not quality. Unnecessary care can be cut with the quality of care. Providers spending more time with patients and talking to them instead of running tests for diagnosis, or misdiagnosis may help cut costs. Misdiagnosis leads to more testing and more office visits, which is more of an expense for the provider and patient. “Overtreatment is a national scandal. It's bad for our health: with medical errors now estimated to be our eighth leading cause of death, drugs, procedures and hospital stays can be risky (as well as painful,...

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