Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Facts about rising health care cost

I just finished updating my health insurance at work and couldn't believe the cost for basic health insurance for my family. I enrolled in blue cross/blue shield of Illinois but it went up again as it does every year. I was paying $97.06 a month but now with the new plan I'll be paying $155.63 every month. Basic health care cost continues to rise at the fastest rate in history. here are some statistics. In 2005 (the latest year data are available), total national health expenditures rose 6.9 percent -- two times the rate of inflation. Total spending was 2 TRILLION in 2005, or $6,700 per person. Total health care spending represented 16 percent of the gross domestic product. U.S. health care spending is expected to increase at similar levels for the next decade reaching $4 TRILLION in 2015, or 20 percent of GDP. National surveys show that the primary reason people are uninsured is the high cost of health insurance coverage. Nearly 50% of Americans say they are very worried about having to pay more for their health care or health insurance, while 42 percent report they are very worried about not being able to afford health care services. In a poll conducted by the Harvard School of Public Health, 43 percent of respondents named high costs as one of the two most important health care issues for government to address. Policymakers and government officials agree that health care costs must be controlled. But they disagree on the best ways to address rapidly escalating health spending and health insurance premiums. Some favor price controls and imposing strict budgets on health care spending. Others believe free market competition is the best way to solve the problems. Public health advocates believe that if all Americans adopted healthy lifestyles, health care costs would decrease as people required less medical care. There appears to be no agreement on a single solution to health Care's high price tag. Many approaches may be used to control costs. What we do know is if the rate of escalation in health care spending and health insurance premiums continues at its current trends, the cost of inaction will severely affect the consumer's pocketbooks.

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