The major health-care issues Americans face have remained the same since the early 1990s and, in fact, have deepened in scope. Chief among these issues is balancing care and costs, which are directly affected by changing populations and outmoded systems of health-care delivery.
Hospitals, even public ones, are consolidating and becoming less accommodating to low-income patients as they seek to push back against insurers; and a shrinking portion of the population has no health insurance at all.
According to Georgetti (2006), currently, 70% of our total health care system is financed publicly, and 30% is financed privately. A lot of attention has been given to the public side. But the growth in costs has been much faster on the private side, and private insurance does not deliver good results.
For all of the talk about “out of control” health care spending, the total cost of our publicly financed delivery system of doctors’ offices, hospitals and government residential care facilities has remained unchanged at about 5% of national income since the early 1980s, despite an ageing population.
On the private side of the equation, meanwhile, the cost of private health insurance covering drugs, dental and vision care and some extra health services has been soaring, driven above all by higher drug costs. Owners of health insurance companies and private hospitals get rcherdespite the presence of a public health program andservices.
In conclusion, our public system as a whole could and should be reformed and improved in numerous ways, from primary care to expanded recruitment of health care professionals, to greater investment in skills and new technologies, to more sophisticated wait-list management.
But we do not need to add a profit dimension or compromise equal access in order to get the changes we need.
Georgetti, K. (2006). Private Healthcare is Expensive, Uneven. Canadian Labour
Congress. Retrieved August 25, 2007 from http://canadianlabour.ca/index.php/Opinion_Editorials/902