The Cost Of Care Is Skyrocketing Essay

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1. The cost of care is skyrocketing. Between 1999 and 2011, the cost of health care soared 76%. US health care costs now far exceed other developed countries yet if you look at our outcomes on a variety of World Health Organization measures such as infant mortality and life expectancy, our rankings are disappointingly low. Part of the reason for this involves our health care safety net. Many Americans today cannot afford or don’t qualify for insurance. They go without needed preventative care. Our safety net for many individuals is limited to emergency, high cost care because their rights to this care are protected by EMTALA (the Emergency Treatment and Liability Act) regardless of abiity to pay. 2. More than half of health dollars go to hospitals and providers. A key piece of information in putting together the healthcare financial puzzle is to look at how healthcare dollars are spent. Hospital care is the single highest spending category at 31% with providers and clinical services at 20%. Not surprisingly when cuts are proposed, these big ticket items are looked at first. 3. Medicare and Medicaid reform is inenvitable. Back in the 1965 when Medicare was passed, the average life expectancy of a man in the United States was 66 and 73 for women. Few people at the time stayed on Medicare for longer than a decade. Life expectancy has increased seven years in the past four decades. The growth in Medicare has also escalated because the Baby Boomer generation is
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