Together with all of the cheering happening about the medical care disaster in America, many are likely finding it almost impossible to focus, much less comprehend the reason for the issues facing us. I find myself dismayed at the tone of the discussion (though I understand it—folks are frightened) as well as bemused that anyone would presume themselves adequately qualified to know how to best enhance our health care system just because they have fell upon it, when folks who have spent whole careers analyzing it (and I do not mean politicians) are not certain what to do themselves.
Albert Einstein is reputed to have said that if he had an hour he had spend 55 minutes solving it and explaining the issue. Our health care system is much more complicated than most that are offering alternatives acknowledge or acknowledge, and unless we focus the majority of our efforts on identifying its issues and completely understanding their causes, any changes we make are only likely to make them worse as they’re better.
Though I Have been employed in the American health care system as a doctor since 1992 and have seven year’s worth of expertise as an administrative manager of primary care, I do not consider myself qualified to completely assess the viability of most of the ideas I Have heard for enhancing our health care system. I do believe, however, I can bring to the discussion by summarizing some general principles which should be used in trying to solve them, taking sensible speculations at their causes, and describing some of its own problems.
THE DIFFICULTY OF PRICE
No one disputes that health care spending in the U.S. has been increasing drastically. As stated by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), health care spending is projected to reach $8,160 per individual per year by the end of 2009 compared to the $356 per individual per year it was in 1970. This increase happened approximately 2.4% quicker than the increase in GDP over the same interval. Though GDP fluctuates from year-to-year and is thus an imperfect method to evaluate a rise in healthcare prices in comparison to other expenses from one year to the next, we can still conclude from this data that over the last 40 years the portion of our national income (private, company, and governmental) we have spent on health care has been increasing.
Despite what most suppose, this might or might not be poor. Everything depends on two things: the reasons why spending on health care has been rising relative to our GDP and just how much value we have been getting for every dollar we spend.