3 postsRe: Topic 4 DQ 1
The United States spends more on health care than any other country (Gross and Laugesen, 2018). These numbers were once thought to be the result of high utilization of services by the consumers; however, more recently the finance expenditures on health care in the United States have been identified as a direct result of the pricing (Gross and Laugesen, 2018). In fact health care costs in the US are 40% greater than the average annual cost of 30 industrialized nations yet the life expectancy is 1.1 years less than the average of these countries (Masters, 2009). This means that higher costs are not leading to better outcomes for the people of the United States.
Insurance and pharmaceutical companies are partially to blame for driving up these costs and reap the benefit of those price increases. I propose that there are stricter guidelines and regulations on insurance pricing/coverage and medication costs to help keep health care more affordable in the United States. With pharmaceutical costs accounting for 20% of health care costs and a large portion of that due to brand-name drugs it is easy for prices to escalate quickly (Seeley et al., 2018). Slowing the growth of these expenses and limiting insurance companies ability to capitalize on consumers should drive costs down or at least slow the rising costs.
Health care reform will take everyone deciding on a direction and moving towards it together. This includes all of the stakeholders including the government, insurance companies, health care providers, and patients. Given our current processes are so complicated, it will take time to fully reform the way the United States delivers health care. The Affordable Care Act of 2010 has started this reform and although not perfect has shown to decrease the medical cost trend from about 9% in 2010 to a projected 6% in 2019 (Cleveland et al., 2019).