Why Is Healthcare in the US So Expensive? What Should Be Done About It?
Although Americans with good health insurance coverage may get the best medical treatment in the world, the health of the average American, as measured by life expectancy and infant mortality, is below the average of other major industrial countries. Inefficiency, fraud and the expense of malpractice suits are often blamed for high U.S. costs, but the major reason is overinvestment in technology and personnel. There are three issues when it comes to the health care cost rising. The first is the rising cost in prescription drugs. The second area of rising cost is the increased technologies when it comes to the medical industry.
"Health care is an unusual product in that it is difficult, and sometimes impossible, for the customer to say 'no.' .... In other cases, there is more time for loved ones to consider costs, but little emotional space to do so. ... It is not like buying a television, where you can easily comparison shop and walk out of the store, and even forgo the purchase if it’s too expensive. And imagine what you would pay for a television if the salesmen at Best Buy knew that you couldn’t leave without making a purchase." Typically, patients have no idea of costs until they get a bill for services already received. Providers bill at different rates for the same services depending on insurance. Rates can vary significantly between different providers. Moreover, multiple studies indicate there is little relationship between cost and quality in health care. Consumers seeking to price-shop for health-care services can find it an impossible task, creating a significant barrier to using market forces to bring down costs. That said, there's a real question of how much improved transparency could make a difference. In recent years, there have been a number of initiatives to improve transparency, such as cost-estimator tools that health insurance companies who are putting on their websites, and state laws such as one in California that requires hospital to publish their charges. Studies so far indicate these transparency initiatives have had minimal impact on patient behavior. A big reason: Many health-care decisions, especially the most expensive, are immune to cost-shopping because they are emergencies, involve in-patient care and/or cost so much that the patient's out-of-pocket costs will be the same regardless. Moreover, many health-care services involve doctor referrals. And, the studies have found, some people who use cost-comparison tools choose a more expensive option because they associate price with quality. "Price transparency may be part of the answer, but it clearly isn’t the entire answer," said a 2016 analysis in the New York Times.
This is because it is admired by many globally. This makes people to wonder whether it is necessary to develop a health care system that is universal (Martins, 2010). This has instigated many debates in forums and in other public places whether or not a universal health care system should be put in place for all Americans. The population of Americans has increased tremendously. This increase in population has led to at least 45 million Americans being uninsured (Martins, 2010). This large group of individuals that need an intervention that covers the majority. This then requires a universal health scheme by the government that can cover such a large group. It is estimated that this population is over 45 million. This number includes illegal immigrants as well. The increase in health care premiums is making most businesses not to provide the employees with a health plan. The organizations that provide health plans shift the cost to the employees (Michael, 2010). This is making many employees to incur additional costs in meeting the health costs. Some employees have even incurred much extra cost. These costs have led to serious consequences. The employees have opted to do without the coverage on health. Thus; comprehensive health coverage would be useful for all Americans. This would be important for people who are unemployed. Not all organizations have insurance coverage (Martin, 2010). Some offer such services while others do not. Employees in originations that do not offer health coverage will find the idea beneficial. The absence of health insurance however does not mean that there is no medical care. This is because there are many health center and clinics that offer free medical services (Michael, 2010). The costs in medical centers are usually high. This additional cost has to be incurred by the patients as the insurance cover may not be in a position of settling everything. This leads to very premiums.
Proponents of limited government and free markets need to go beyond defensive strategies. It is not enough to work to stop the further advances of socialism; instead, proponents of free markets need to become aggressive in promoting the repeal of older socialist programs. No matter how good the defense, no sports team ever wins without at least some offense.
Martin, M.K. (November 2010). "The political economy of universal health coverage". Global symposium on health systems research.
Michael. (March 22, 2010). "Healthcare vote: Barack Obama passes US health reform by narrow margin". The Guardian (London).Retrieved on 2nd December2012. .