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Saturday, July 7, 2012

Health Care In America: Follow The Money

From NPR News (click here)

March 19, 2012 With the Supreme Court poised to hear arguments about President Obama's health law next week, the time seemed ripe for looking at the economic stakes. The public sector is a big part of the American health care industry, which now accounts for 18 percent of the GDP.

The Supreme Court takes up the Affordable Care Act next week, and NPR will be exploring the questions surrounding health care in America beforehand. Many of the publicly debated issues in the act hinge on money. How much is spent on our health? Who spends it? How?

Some know how much we pay for our own medical care, but many aren't aware of how immense an industry health care is in the U.S. Our trips to the doctor employ a lot of people, and our schools play an important role in preparing those people to take care of us.

Data on the U.S. health care workforce.

The workforce numbers don't even count people who work for pharmaceutical or health insurance companies.
  All those employees are part of the huge growth in the U.S. health care industry in the last 40 years. If spending keeps climbing as it has, in another 40 years the share of our GDP that goes to health care could be about twice what it is today.

Data on U.S. health care sector as related to the economy.


*Projected data

"That either means that we get an awful lot more health care, or we get a lot of health care that's awfully expensive," Anthony Carnevale, a labor economist at Georgetown University, tells NPR's Robert Siegel. "Generally what the research says is it's about 50-50 — we get a lot more health care, and the health care we get a lot more of is more expensive."

Data on public spending on health care, and on uninsured Americans.

The money isn't just from individuals and the private sector. The government is a big player in health care. NPR's Julie Rovner says that while the sector is complex, it's not a predominantly private system.
Data on individual health care costs.

About 100 million people — a third of the U.S. population — are covered by the major government programs: Medicare, Medicaid and military coverage. Public employees and their dependents who receive health insurance paid for by the government add another big chunk to that amount, bringing the public share of spending to about 45 percent. But government programs don't cover everyone, and about 1 in 6 Americans under 65 is uninsured. Many of those are young adults and children.

For some people, employers fill the gaps in health care that the government doesn't reach. But employer insurance only covers a little over half of U.S. workers, and many Americans are struggling to keep up.

Health care's share of our workforce and our economy keeps on growing, and economists expect it to be about 40 percent of our spending by 2050, up from 18 percent today. Even now, the U.S.'s share is about twice that of other developed nations — most European countries spend about 9 percent of their GDP on medical costs.


Anonymous said...

Health care reform needs to not only be implemented, but strengthened and stricter. We can no longer take the rising cost of greed in our health care bills and insurance.

We need Obamacare on acid!

Anonymous said...

This is very educational. Thank you for sharing.

Kristian Magtanong
section 4049
com 101

Anonymous said...

I think that healthcare should be available to everyone, no matter employed or not. It sucks for the people that cant get insurance due to high premiums, or that dont have children so that they can get on medicaid or dont have a job to get insurance through them. Those are the people that are getting screwed. If you are a unemployed male with no kids and a health problem, you wont get anything. You should be able to get treated and have insurance and not have to pay alot of money for it.

Joseph Contreras HN 4049 COM 101

fred said...

I agree with the health care plan, but I am still a little shell shocked about how high they raised my insurance cost.

Anonymous said...

Insurance companies and the actual cost of medical offices, practices, tests, medicines have risen at an all time high while profits and dividends go to their share holders.

The cause is not Obamacare, or any government unless it is for a lack of action again monopolies and profiteers.

As for pre-exising conditions. Is being a woman something you choose? Women pay more and can be turned down just because of their sex. Is growing old something you can avoid? Older Americans pay more just because of their age.

It is not fair.

Keep the health care law passed by congress and signed by the Congress.

Do not overturn it!

Anonymous said...

of all these things healthcare, insurance, cost, medications why does it always tend to leave out nutrition. Most of these discussions over insurance and money could be avoided if we put some time and effort teaching nutrition and stopping most problems before they start. Oh wait not as much money to make if people are not getting sick.

Anonymous said...

that last comment. Last sentence
Oh wait if people are not getting sick then there is not as much money to make. Something to that nature was my post. forgot to put my name
Devin Murtaugh

austin rains said...

obama's healthcare plan has many flaws in its which creating country wide healthcare effects the working class that already has it this forces the people with healthcare to pay more money in order to compensate for the uninsured americans. also with obamacares new law stating that all buisness owners must give its workers healthcare benifits or they will be taxed will crush small buisnesses more.

Anonymous said...

Many people did not have health care when the bill started to take effect (staggered to 20-15. Today all children have health care, low income have access to health care, adult sup to 25 can be on their parents insurance (saving money in the process), being a women is no longer a pre-existing condition costing you more in health insurance, and states must allow access to state health service by Federal law. In addition starting in 2014 adult pre-existing conditions cannot be denied insurance, cannot have unreasonably high insurance premiums and will pay no more than they would if they were on an employers policy.

Many are being sold false information in the health care reform bill. The bill really helps those who need it most...children, women, the poor and the working class. Many employers no longer carry health insurance and if you are let go..hav eyou any idea how much it cost to keep your insurance? Too much if you lost your cash flow.