Healthcare and Insurance
“The U.S. spends about fifteen percent of its Gross National Product (GNP) on healthcare as of around 2007. According to the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development or (OECD) the U.S. spends 1.8 times the as much of its GNP on healthcare compared to other OECD countries” (Almgren, 2007, p. 90). “Health care spending will eat up the federal government’s budget even sooner, and that is the root cause of the U.S. sovereign debt problem” (Hixton, 2012).
As these graphics show the GNP continues to be eaten up by the cost of health care in the U. S. If we want to become prosperous again one place we are going to need to look is healthcare. “Although it may seem implausible, U.S. healthcare spending will increase to the equivalent of the country’s entire current economic output if current growth rates, are maintained, cautioned a new long-term budget outlook from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO). Under current law, CBO projects that federal spending on healthcare will grow from 5.5 percent of GDP today to 10 percent of GDP in 2035, when 6 percent of GDP will be spent on Medicare and 4 percent consumed by Medicaid, the Children’s Health Insurance Program, and insurance subsidies established through the recent healthcare reform legislation. Total healthcare spending by all payers and individuals would increase to about 26 percent of GDP by 2035—compared to 15.1 percent of GDP in 2008” (CBO Projects Total Healthcare Spending to Hit 26 Percent of GDP by 2035, 2010)”.
Employer based Healthcare
Of all the kinds on insurance “out of pocket, employment based, private health insurance, Medicare, Medicaid, and the Veterans Administration private health insurance is the most common kind of healthcare insurance around” (Almgren, 2007, p. 97). While there are all kinds of insurance not all insurance have the controversy like healthcare insurance. For example car insurance is required in the U.S. to drive a car. Other than a small percent of people who may not have a problem driving without insurance, most people have no problem maintaining car insurance. House insurance is another example of insurance that most people pay gladly because without it houses and cars are too expensive for most people to replace at any time. However when it comes to health insurance some people do not feel that health insurance is necessary. They feel they can pay doctors’ bills and buy need medication because they do not need it often. What happens when something catastrophic occurs?
Private and employment based healthcare insurance is provided by either purchasing health insurance on a single person or a family. Employer based healthcare is usually purchased when an “employer contracts with a health insurance company” (Almgren, 2007, p. 106). Employees can buy into the plan at a set rate usually for one person or a family. The size of the company has an impact on the amount and cost of the insurance offered. “Although across all employers of any size, industrial type, and regional location, the average proportion of workers covered by employer sponsored insurance is 67%” (Almgren, 2007, p. 110).
Public Financed of Healthcare
“Approximately 45% of health care expenditures in the United States are publicly funded. The two largest of these is Medicare (17.5% of expenders), and Medicaid (16.6% of expenditures)(Smith et al., 2005) Another bid public expediters is the Veterans Administration at about 20 billion a year” (Almgren, 2007, p. 121).
“Medicare is the federal health insurance program for people who are 65 or older, certain younger people with disabilities, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant, sometimes called ESRD). (Medicare.gov, 2013).
Medicare is broken down into three different parts that pay three different types of medical claims. The first is Medicare part A which “Part A covers inpatient hospital stays, care in a skilled nursing facility, hospice care, and some home health care”.(Medicare.gov, 2013). Medicare part B is ”Part B covers certain doctors’ services, outpatient care, medical supplies, and preventive services” (Medicare.gov, 2013). Medicare part C is “A Medicare Advantage Plan is a type of Medicare health plan offered by a private company that contracts with Medicare to provide you with all your Part A and Part B benefits. Medicare Advantage Plans include Health Maintenance Organizations, Preferred Provider Organizations, Private Fee-for-Service Plans, Special Needs Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans. If you’re enrolled in a Medicare Advantage Plan, Medicare services are covered through the plan and aren’t paid for under Original Medicare. Most Medicare Advantage Plans offer prescription drug coverage” (Medicare.gov, 2013). Finally Medicare part D is “Part D adds prescription drug coverage to Original Medicare, some Medicare Cost Plans, some Medicare Private-Fee-for-Service Plans, and Medicare Medical Savings Account Plans. These plans are offered by insurance companies and other private companies approved by Medicare. Medicare Advantage Plans may also offer prescription drug coverage that follows the same rules as Medicare Prescription Drug Plans” (Medicare.gov, 2013).
“Medicaid provides health coverage for some low-income people, families and children, pregnant women, the elderly, and people with disabilities. Medicaid programs must follow federal guidelines, but they vary somewhat from state to state” (Healthcare.gov, 2013).
“The Veterans Health Administration is America’s largest integrated health care system with over 1,700 sites of care, serving 8.3 million Veterans each year” (Health Benifits, 2013).
In the near future there will be national Healthcare under the Affordable Healthcare Act. Some groups are against this as they fell national healthcare is not right for the U.S. Other groups think it is long overdue because everyone is to healthcare. The main debate is the financial consequences of such an Act. Only time will tell the benefit or losses the bill will cause. The Affordable care Act my not be the best idea, but it is a start that can be expanded on. Perhaps instead of spending money trying to defeat this Act maybe better time and money can be spent of making it better for everyone.