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How Did Health Care Costs Get So High?

First, let’s get a little historical perspective on American health care. To do this, let’s turn to the American municipal war era. In that war, outdated tactics and the carnage inflicted by modern firearms of the era combined to cause terrible results. Most of the fatalities on both sides of your war just weren’t the result Sermorelin HGH in San Diego, CA of actual combat but about the happened from battlefield twisted was inflicted. To begin with, evacuation of the wounded moved at a snail’s pace more often than not causing severe delays in treatment of the wounded. Secondly, most wounds were subjected to twisted related treatments and amputations and this often resulted in massive infection. To survive a battle twisted to die at the hands of medical care providers whose good intentioned interventions were often quite lethal. High death tolls can also be related to everyday ailments and diseases in a time when no antibiotics existed. In total like 600, 000 fatalities occurred from all causes, over 2% of the U. S. population at the time!

Let’s skip to the first half of the 20th century for some additional perspective and to bring us up to more sophisticated times. After the municipal war there were steady improvements in American medicine in both the understanding and treatment of certain diseases, new precise techniques and in physician education and training. But for the most part the best that doctors could offer their patients was a “wait and see” approach. Medicine could handle bone cracks and perform risky treatments etcetera (now increasingly practiced in sterile precise environments) but medicines just weren’t yet available to handle serious illnesses. The majority of fatalities kept the result of untreatable conditions such as tuberculosis, pneumonia, scarlet throwing up and measles and/or related complications. Doctors were increasingly aware of heart and vascular conditions, and cancer but they had almost nothing with which to treat these conditions.

This very basic understanding of American medical history helps us to understand that until quite recently (around the 1950’s) we had virtually no technologies with which to treat serious or even minor ailments. Nothing to treat you with means that visits to the doctor if were relegated to emergencies so in that scenario costs were obviously minuscule. A second factor that has become a key driver of today’s health care costs is that medical treatments that were provided were paid for out-of-pocket. There was no health insurance and certainly not health insurance paid by someone else as an employer. Costs were the duty of the individual as well as a few causes that among other things supported charity doctor’s offices for the poor and destitute.

What does medical care insurance should do with health care costs? Its impact on health care costs is enormous. When health insurance for individuals and families emerged as an approach for corps to escape salary freezes and to attract and retain employees after World War II, almost overnight there was a great pool of money available for health care. Money, as a result of the accessibility to billions of dollars from health insurance costly, encouraged an innovative America to increase medical research efforts. As more and more Americans became insured not only through private, employer sponsored health insurance but through increased government funding that created Medicare, Medicaid and expanded frequent health care benefits, finding a cure for almost anything has become very lucrative. This is also the primary reason for the vast range of treatments we have available today. I do not wish to convey that this is a bad thing. Think of the tens of millions of lives which are saved, extended and made more productive as a result. But with a funding source grown to its current magnitude (hundreds of billions of dollars annually) upward pressure on health care costs are inevitable. Doctor’s offer and most of us demand and get access to the latest available health care technology, pharmaceuticals and precise interventions. So there is more health care to spend our money on and until very recently most of us were insured and the costs were largely covered by a third-party (government, employers). This is the “perfect storm” for higher and higher health care costs and by and large, the storm is modern.

At this point, let’s turn to a key question. Is the current flight of U. S. health care spending sustainable? Can America maintain its world competitiveness when 16%, heading for 20% your gross national product is being spent on health care? What are the other industrialized countries spending on health care and is it even close to these numbers? Add politics and an selection year and the whole issue gets badly unclear and misrepresented.

I believe that we demand a revolutionary change in the way we think about health care, its availability, its costs and who pays for it. And if you think I am about to say we should randomly and drastically reduce spending on health care you would be wrong. Here it is fellow citizens — health care spending needs to be preserved and protected for those who need it. And to free up these dollars those of us who don’t need it or can delay it or avoid it need to act. First, we need to convince our political figures that this country needs sustained public education with regard to the value of preventive health strategies. This should be a the main ageda and it has worked to reduce the number of U. S. smokers for example. If prevention were to take hold, it is reasonable to assume that those needing health care for the numerous life style engendered chronic diseases would decrease dramatically. Millions of Americans are experiencing these diseases far earlier than in decades past and much of this is due to poor life style choices. This change alone would free up plenty of money to handle the health care costs of those in dire need of treatment, whether due to an acute emergency or chronic condition.

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