The rising costs of healthcare in the United States has been a topic of concern for many years now. According to the National Health Expenditure Accounts (NHEA), the United States spending on health care grew 4.3 percent in 2016, reaching $3.3 trillion or $10,348 per person. In terms of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) health care spending accounted for 17.9 percent making health care one of the country’s largest industries. Per the Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD), Americans pay more taxes per GDP share than most other countries, even those with universal healthcare. Additionally, Americans pay more for private insurance than any other country in the world. Despite the astronomical amounts being spent on health care, the United States ranks last in the quality of health care when compared to the top eleven richest countries in the world. So why are Americans paying significantly more for health care, but not receiving the best care and treatment? Greed and politics, malpractice and defensive medicine, and pharmaceutical drug companies are some of the major factors fueling the rising costs of healthcare in the United States. All these factors added together, tend to make it impossible to change the direction of rising costs, but clearly some form of healthcare reform is needed. While that is a completely different issue, the following points of emphasis will reinforce the obvious blundery of the healthcare industry in regards to high costs
You work hard and you pay your insurance company in hope that your dollars are going towards premiums that will cover future unexpected expenses. If you become ill, you expect that your health insurance company will pay for the treatment to make you better. But that isn’t always the case. As an individual you pay more or less in premiums than you receive in benefits, so you would assume that the insured population as a whole would break evenly. However, this is often times not the case after factoring in overhead costs. Higher overhead costs result in consumers paying more in premiums while not actually receiving more in benefits.
Net insurance costs rose from 2.31 to 3.31 as a percentage of total consumer spending. Overhead cost have declined over the years except among health insurance companies. The way Americans spend money has recently declined through the years. The amount we spend on life insurance, car insurance and even home insurance has completely declined. However, health care has taken an additional .75 percentage of Americans pay. Americans are spending more of their income on health insurance middlemen than anything else.
Health insurance companies have typically spent more than 12 percent of their own budgets on overhead spending, which is a third higher than it was in 1920. A question worth asking is just how much the public would save if our private insurance companies could reach the same level that our public programs are reached. Overhead spending averages at $143 billion a year. If our private sector could reach the efficiency,
overhead spending would decrease to less than $20 billion. In addition, it would save americans roughly $100 billion a year.
It is essential as a physician and required in most states by law that you are covered by medical malpractice insurance. Many medical professionals such as- dentists, psychologist, pharmacists, optometrists, nurses and physical therapists are required to consider the type of coverage. It provides them with coverage and liability in case a service done by them results in a patient being injured or a patient even dying. It is said that at least one medical malpractice lawsuit is to happen in the course of a medical professionals career.
Medical malpractice cost will continue to rise until healthcare provides recognize the need to change their mentalities from “treat the numbers” to a “patient priority.” Most places like hospitals, clinics and other healthcare providers place an emphasis on profit. They tend to under staff and over work doctors, nurses and nurse practitioners who in turn are spending less time with the patients. Patients are paying for increasing health insurance premiums all while getting adequate healthcare for the sake of profit. While on the other hand, insurance companies are paying more to settle malpractice lawsuit claims and passing the cost to patients and good doctors that are barely affording their malpractice insurance premiums that can cost on average, depending on where you live, up to $275,000 a year. It has said to cause an increasingly big number of good physicians to abandon their practice for a more lucrative type career.
Malpractice adds to the cost of medicine directly and indirectly by triggering defensive medicine. Defensive medicine can be referred to as diagnostic testing and treatments done by a provider in guard to the possibility of malpractice litigation. For example, a healthcare provider is likely to hospitalize a patient who is likely to do well with outpatient treatment to avoid a future lawsuit in case an unlikely event were to occur.
Donald Trump has complained that drug companies are on more than occasion “getting away with murder.” Our white house has proposed multiple tweaks to healthcare programs. Although some measures are worth trying for, sometimes tweaks just aren’t enough. The big problem is that drug prices are murdious. Our insurers and us as americans are paying many times more than people in other countries are for the exact same medicines. The U.S will only continue to be overcharged for it’s drugs until a big step is put into play.
Most companies arguably agree that our high prices are paying for research into new life saving products. However, aside from why U.S patients should be asked to shoulder that burden, the evidence shows the argument is false. These high marketing companies collect substantially greater in the U.S market than the amount they actually spend on researching and development. Pushing the prices down is going to take stronger efforts from the government that will increase the competition. We could start by speeding up the uptake of generic medicine. I think Trump’s idea to deplore on the cost of drugs in america today is something worth doing. We need much more bolder measures than the administration has in mind to bring the prices down.