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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 Introduction The term health care relates to the prevention and treatment of diseases in ailing individuals. Almost 60 years ago in 1948, the World Health Organization (WHO) gave a very comprehensive definition of this term, where it stated that health is a “complete state of physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of infirmity.” Thus, to enjoy an overall good health and a general good quality of life, all three factors must function normally for an individual…
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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 These families must forcibly cut down on their health care costs, which may ultimately lead to dangerous health consequences. In this context, the researcher will conduct a qualitative study (secondary research), that will explore the aspect of the monetary costs and quality of life, as regards the present US health care system. Monetary costs and quality of life in the context of US health care: in US, health care occupies an important position within the U.S. economy graph (Fig 1). Observations by various experts reveal that every year the health related expenditure keeps on growing, often moving ahead of the expenditure made on the other service sectors. This implies that each year the percentage of the health expenditure within the overall US economy pie keeps on growing. As the cost prices within the health care system increase, there is bound to be some sort of a repercussion within the average household, especially amongst the families that fall below the federal poverty line. ...
Even for those people that have insurances, rising health care costs translate into getting less benefits each year, for the same amount of money. Fig 1: The US spends more healthcare than any country in the world. The figures as shown in the graph above represents health care expenditure for the year 2006, and during this year it was observed that an average US person spends more on health care than on food, oil, or even gasoline (Source: Mckinsey & company, 2008, 13). At an average estimate, America spends nearly $7,400 annually on health care per person, which comprises of about a 16% share within U.S. economy pie (fig 2). A look at the year 2007 will show us that US health care spending was then nearly $2.2 trillion, which when evenly spread over the entire population amounted to about $7421 per head expenditure (Figure 2). This $2.2 trillion represents 16.2 percent of the nation’s total economic activity, referred to as the gross domestic product or GDP. While the spending figures are by themselves impressive, however the chief area of concern is their rate of rapid growth over the last few years. Fig 2: National Health Expenditures per Capita and Their Share of Gross Domestic Product, 1960-2007 (Source: Health Care Costs- A Primer, 2009, 2). The graph (fig 2) shows the rising cost of health care per person in US. The growth in the last decade, starting from around 1990, and has been exponential. In 2009, the $7421 per head spending increased to more than $8000 per head, showing a jump of more than $500 per person, in just 2 years time (Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, 2010). Observations show that the rapidly increasing health care expenditure in US is becoming a ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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