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The Pricing of Health Costs and its Effect on the Poor in the United States - Dissertation Example

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THE PRICING OF HEALTH COSTS AND ITS EFFECT ON THE POOR IN THE UNITED STATES Abstract This article conducts an analysis of the findings on the effects on the poor from the increasing health costs. It performs an analysis on the effects of money and quality of life on the cost of health; how income level impacts the treatment of the poor, and consequences of financial stress, out-of-pocket expenses, and loss of income on the health of the poor…
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The Pricing of Health Costs and its Effect on the Poor in the United States
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Download file to see previous pages It researches the relationship between socio-economic cause, conditions, and health. Financial Stress and Living Expenses Health costs have been on the rise for many years. In 2008 it crossed $2.3 trillion, three times higher than $714 billion in 1990, and eight times higher than what was spent in 1980, which was up to $253 billion. Controlling the health costs has been a primary policy preference of the US government. The speed of rising health costs added with the economic recession and increased federal deficit has stressed the government systems. A number of causes have been identified of rising health costs, which include: Technology and Prescription drugs Chronic disease Aging of the population The US has been o the top of all industrialized countries in the matter of individual spending on health care approximately $7,681, which reaches to 16.2% of the country’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP). Controlling the health care costs is very urgent in the country’s larger interests for economic stability and growth (Kimbuende et al., 2010). The ever-increasing health costs have become an alarming social, economic and political issue in the US. The government policy on health reforms so far has not helped in effectively chasing the cost because of wrong strategies. The US should learn from other countries; how they have been successful in reducing heath costs. Obama government has taken the initiative of approaching the issue by improving health outcomes among other strategies, as promised to control rising health costs in the 2008 presidential election (Marmor et al., 2009). In tax-favored “health reimbursement accounts (HRA),” funds of employees with added contributions by employers have affected the poor people with the cost-sharing arrangement by shifting costly insurance types to them. Tensions have risen on health care costs as employees wages are not increasing in proportion as health costs have been increasing. It becomes evident from the fact that since 1999 family premiums for employer supported health insurance has increased by 131 percent putting additional burden on low-salaried employees. It has affected the poor in the US shelling more from their pockets on high premiums. According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Office of the Actuary, National Health Statistics Group, only hospital care and physician services form more than half of the nation’s total health care spending. Any federal level health reform should give top priority to reducing health costs (Kimbuende et al., 2010). Some of the related questions include: 1. Do money and quality of life affect the cost of health? 2. What effect does income level on medical treatment have on the poor? 3. Do financial stress, out of pocket payment, and loss of income reduce hospital visits for the poor? What impact the increasing cost of healthcare is having on the poor people? Healthcare pricing is shrouded in mystery because providers don’t show transparency of payments received. Insurance companies also do not share the payments with the customers. “Sticker prices” pasted on care provider websites are generally more than paid by insurance companies. Some of the US states like New Hampshire, Maine, Oregon and Massachusetts provide ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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