Friday, July 15, 2016

Question: Why Has Healthcare Spending Reached $10,345 Per Person?

By Coleen Elkins   24-7 Health Insurance

The per-person cost of healthcare has reached over $10,000 this year.

What is driving the cost. The first thing that comes to mind is the cost of prescriptions drugs. What is driving up the cost of drugs? Try counting in an hours time how many drug commercials you see while watching your favorite television program. Notice how much of that commercial is devoted to disclaimers of how the particular medication can harm you. Commercials "sell" products and goods. RX commercials are televised to prompt you to see your doctor about possibly prescribing this medication for you. Is it possible over the last decade over medicating has made Americans sicker?

Projections indicate health care spending will grow at a faster rate than the national economy over the coming decade. National health expenditure will hit $3.35 trillion this year adding up to $10,345 for every man, woman and child. Medicare and Medicaid are expected to grow more rapidly than private insurance.

Republican nominee for President Donald Trump vows to repeal Obamacare without cutting Medicare (which is currently scheduled under the Obama administration for major benefit reductions over the next 7 years including Hospice Care and Physical Therapy). Democrat Hillary Clinton has promised to expand government health care benefits to include a "single payer system".

Obama's health care law in an attempt to control costs reduced Medicare payments to hospitals and private insurers aka Medicare Advantage Plans. The law increased costs by expanding coverage to millions who previously lacked it. Health insurance premiums will rise 30 to 65 percent for each insured American in 2017 based on insurance carriers filing rate increases for the coming year.

Each of the presidential candidates are going to have to provide a plan to address these costs. How will each of them project fiscal leadership to keep America healthy without driving up government cost and/or passing it on to the consumer?

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