US Spends More On Health Care Than Any Other Country

The United States has some of the world’s most superior medical care, but experts think that the medical system is wrought with waste and expenses that will grow as the population gets older, according to an AFP report.

President Barack Obama is now in the first major fight of his presidency over how to give health care to some 47 million uninsured Americans.

The price of these health reforms is an issue. Obama has suggested spending 634 billion dollars in the following 10 years as a “down payment,” but congressional experts think that the cost will end up around one trillion dollars.

Reformers are also challenged with altering a system that one economist refers to as “an administrative monstrosity.”

Economist Henry Aaron, in a 2003 paper, calls it “a truly bizarre m©lange of thousands of payers with payment systems that differ for no socially beneficial reason, as well as staggeringly complex public systems with mind-boggling administered prices and other rules expressing distinctions that can only be regarded as weird.”

The majority of Americans are overweight, one in 10 suffer from diabetes, and about a quarter between 45 and 54 have hypertension.

In the meantime, US spending on insurance and health care is increasing faster than the economy.

Spending hit 2.1 trillion dollars in 2006, says the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services. It might reach 4.3 trillion dollars a year in a decade.

“By 2017, about 20 cents of every dollar spent in the US economy will be spent on health care,” a Rand Corp reports stated.

Normally, Americans spend 6% of their after-tax income on health services.

Several factors, like technology, can result in longer lives but at a higher cost.

Technological advances count for over half the growth in US health spending, the Congressional Budget Office stated.

“Certain technological changes, for example some vaccines, may reduce spending. However, in general new technologies tend to increase the number of health services that an individual receives, thereby increasing costs,” Rand said.

On the other hand, the US system is labeled as excessive contrasting other countries.

The United States spends large amounts on administrative costs than countries, says the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Private insurance companies have more increased administrative costs than public insurance programs like Medicare or Medicaid.

“Practitioners and hospitals, in their interactions with multiple payers, are encumbered by numerous billing requirements, a multitude of formularies and clinical care guidelines, and patients with different covered benefits,” Rand said.

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