The Raise In Health Care Spending

Rising health care spending is driving a triple crisis in U.S. health care; the disappearance of employer-based coverage; the gradually developing crisis in Medicaid; and Medicare is threatened by rising health costs. The whole system of employer-based health care is dealing with severe costs issues.

There are several reasons for these issues, but mainly health care costs at current levels are now so large that companies are cutting costs by reducing coverage or increasing premiums. Unfortunately it is usually both. Eventually, we may perhaps see the whole employer health care initiatives go away.

Advances in medical technology, which causes doctors to spend more on their patients because newer services are available, leads to higher insurance costs which many people cannot afford. More people are losing their health coverage because they cannot pay the premiums or the co-insurance payments. The uninsured are a growing number in the U.S.

As an example of advancing technology, the cost of a hip MRI is $1,800, and this procedure was not available ten years ago. This will surely make insurance more costly, but it's diagnostic technology that orthopedic doctors will use frequently.

Medicaid and Medicare

In the US health care system nearly half of total health care spending is funded by the government. Most government health care costs are for two social insurance programs; Medicare and Medicaid. Today, Medicaid and Medicare are important parts of the American health care safety net. In 2004 they covered a combined total of 77 million men and women. Medicaid is growing even more because it is picking up where the employer-based system stopped in many instances. The number of men and women who aren't eligible for Medicaid is a rapidly growing number.

Many experts believe the actual delivery of health care services is ineffective and not cost-efficient. Private insurers, for-profit hospitals, and other characters who add cost are in control of much of the health care costs in America. The profit makers leave a questionable contribution to the U. S. Health care system.

Is health care spending a problem?