Health Care Spending

Everyone in the United States would like to live a healthy life but to live healthy we must have a good health care system. The United States has more than 40 million Americans that are currently uninsured because some changes need to be made with our health care system. Health Care costs in the United States has risen tremendously in the past years.

This paper will discuss some of the current issues about national health care expenditures, whether the spending is too much or not enough, where the nation should add or cut, and why and how the general public’s health care needs are paid for, such as being financed by various payers, while indicating the percent of total expenditures they represent. The national health care expenditures estimated the health care spending for 2011 as $2. 7 trillion. This represents as $8,680 per person which grew to 3. 9 percent and the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) sustained at 17. 9 percent.

Health care spending, in 2012 to 2013, is expected to reach 3. 8 percent and private health insurance spending drops because of low income growth. By 2014 the national health spending is estimated to increase to 7. 4 percent because the Affordable Care Act will result to 22 million of uninsured Americans. These expenditures are broken down into different types of services or product called personal health care (National Health Expenditure Data, 2012). As one of the expenditures, 4. 3 percent is an estimate of hospital care spending and it has reached $848. 9 billion in 2011.

Medicaid spending decreased in 2011 because of low hospital services but private health insurance and Medicare skyrocketed. Another expenditure is prescription drug spending. This expenditure estimated growth to 2. 9 percent of $263. 0 billion in 2011, which increased from 1. 2 percent from 2010. This increased of prescription drugs was due to an increasing use of brand name drugs but still at a slow growth rate because of increased usage of generic brand drugs. Other expenditures such as dental services, home health care and nursing care and continuing care increased in 2011 as well.

Dental service spending increased 3. percent, home health care increased 4. 5 percent but at a slower rate from 5. 8 percent in 2010. And nursing care and continuing care retirement communities increased from 3. 2 percent to 4. 4 percent. These specific expenditures increased mainly due to a major increase in Medicare and Medicaid spending. For home health care, Medicare and Medicaid increased at a slower rate but accounts for 80 percent of total home health care spending. But for nursing care facilities and continuing care retirement communities Medicare only increased from 7. 2 to 16. 5 percent which is a 9. 3 percent margin.

The United States tends to spend more when it comes to health care than other countries. Great Britain spends a little over $44,000 per year for each citizen. The United States, on an average yearly basis spends about $2 trillion on health care which is 17 percent of the country’s economy and also 10 percent more of the GDP (Gross Domestic Product) than previous years. By 2017, health care spending will increase to a rate of $4. 3 trillion and the GDP will top at 20 percent. Although the United States spends more on health care but there are some solutions to decrease the costs of excessive health care spending.

Train physicians on conventional and alternative medicines and treatment which could prevent many common diseases that could help cut costs. What can we do as lawmakers to improve our health care system? Where can the nation add to or cut away from the health care system in order to make it better for our senior citizens to come? First reduce Medicare out-of-pocket costs, have the legislature negotiate with pharma the underlying costs of Part D drug cuts, keep up to date with the reform and work with state based single payer groups.

The government should cut defense spending because it could save about $1. trillion and force reconstruction of foreign policy. In 2010, the Governor proposed a budget that would decrease the cost of healthcare. Our economic future and the future of low income Americans, the senior society and the disabled would take a grave hit. The budget would cut about $160 million of health care, over 60,000 low income workers who would lose basic health insurance (Our Economic Future: Health Care, 2010). The budget proposed to cut approximately $ 33 million, including $21 million in federal funding for the Apple Health for kids.

Mental health services, family planning clinics and maternity services also were on the chopping block. These areas of health care stood to lose $134 million for people with disabilities and mental health needs, $3 million in family planning and closed nearly 19 birth control clinics. Women who suffered from high risk pregnancies trying to have healthy babies lost $53 million. Also parts of Medicaid would take a hit by eliminating $60 million of adult dental, vision and hearing and $17 million from interpreter services from non-speaking Americans.

Medicaid also would cut $63 to $76 million to hospitals for inpatient and outpatient services but would be transfer this service to the Hospital Safety Net assessment. What can we do to protect Americans from losing these health care programs that have great value? Close unfair tax loopholes, stabilize funding and prevent decaying affordable health care (Our Economic Future: Health Care, 2010). The general public’s health care needs are paid for by a combination of public and private entities. Private health insurance benefits the employees and their families.

The employees choose a type of health care plan that accommodates what their family needs are. This coverage is for the working Americans under the age of 65 that pays a part of the coverage known as the premiums. Medicare covers Americans who are age 65 and older. This form of health insurance is a government program that the individual does not pay an out of pocket cost but it may not cover all drug prescriptions or medical services. By 2014, more than 32 million Americans will have some form of health care coverage but an estimated 16 million still may not have health insurance either by choice or ineligible.

Health care spending in the United States is rising drastically and so many people are without health insurance. As the recession is coming to an end, there are still not enough funds to cover most of the health care needed by sick Americans. Many funds are available for health care, President Obama passed the health care reform so that it will benefit many people especially women. President Obama and his congressional Democrats also believe that the decision making about health care should be left up to the federal government. But people should be able to decide how and where they spend their own money.

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