Week 5 Case Study: Investment Potential in the Healthcare

1150 Words Aug 2nd, 2012 5 Pages
Week 5 Case Study
HSM 544
Healthcare Industry
The American health care industry is one of the nation's largest and most profitable industries (Healthcare, 2011). The American healthcare industry "has consistently increased its share of GDP from only 7.2% in 1970 to more than 16.0% in 2008" and that figure is still growing (Van Horn, 2010). It is also one of the few American industries that is expected to grow in the next few decades. In fact, the healthcare industry in America is expected to generate 3.2 million new jobs through the year 2018, which is more than any other American industry (Healthcare, 2011). This industry includes everything "from small-town private practices of physicians who employ only one medical assistant to busy
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and out-of-pocket consumer expenditures account for another 14 percent" (Morrisey, 2008). The remaining 5% is unpaid for, due to factors such as poverty, loss of work and insurance coverage, death, or bankruptcy.
The debate regarding government involvement in the health care industry often centers on issues such as quality and cost of care versus the lack of care for the millions who fail to qualify for government assistance, are turned away by private insurance due to chronic illness or other factors, or who work for employers who do not provide health insurance and cannot afford to purchase it alone. To help with this President Obama signed the Affordable Care Act (ACA) in March 2010 to help ensure that all Americans were able to obtain some form of health care insurance (The Affordable, n.d.). The ACA requires private businesses to offer health insurance to employees or to pay a tax that will then be used by the government to create a pool for Americans who are uninsured to be able to purchase health insurance at an affordable rate (The Affordable, n.d.). Because ACA also requires individuals to purchase many states have filed cases asking courts to declare the ACA unconstitutional. While this issue has not yet been decided, the role of government in the health care industry is likely to change in the coming decades.
Two of the key reasons for this change are that Americans are aging rapidly and that Americans' are increasingly becoming poor. Both of these
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