The Rising Cost of Healthcare

1217 WordsApr 7, 20065 Pages
The Rising Cost of Healthcare There is no doubt that healthcare cost are rising out of control. No one likes the increases, but it is far more understandable when considering all the reasons for these increases. American people look at their insurance bills, co-pays and drug costs, and can't understand why they continue to increase. The insured should consider all of these reasons before getting upset. In 2004, employee health care premiums increased over 11 percent, four times more than the rate of inflation.…show more content…
Fifty cents of every health care dollar is spent on hospital and nursing home stays. (Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Kansas, 2004, The rising cost of health care, the reasons). The older population also needs more medication to treat their ailments. Drug spending in the U.S. rose more than 11 percent in 2003 to over 180 billion dollars. Americans consume about 3 million prescriptions a year. People over the age of 65 spend an average of $2300.00 a year. That is just in co-pays. The co-pays for brand name drugs jumped 62 percent, from $16 to $25 in 2003. Most of these drugs have generic equivalents, but even those co-pays rose to an average of nine dollars. As a whole, retail prescriptions have increased 7.4 percent a year from 1993 to 2003, triple the inflation rate of 2.5 percent. (National Coalition of Healthcare, 2005, Facts about health care costs). Most of this increase reflects the cost of research, and the time it takes to develop a medication, and have it approved by the Food and Drug Administration. A medication takes years to advance from idea, to theory, to research and testing, and finally to approval. All of this time costs money. Another reason for increased usage involves all ages. Most consumers have had changes in lifestyle from earlier years. Seven out of ten Americans of all ages do not get the minimum amount of recommended exercise.(National Coalition on Healthcare, 2005, Facts about healthcare

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