CriticalComparisons_060909

CriticalComparisons_060909 - Critical Comparisons Analyzing...

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Critical Comparisons Analyzing U.S. Health Care Expenditures Over Time Econ 3451 9-16-08
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Has the health care crisis arrived? A large portion of the American population seems to believe that it has--and that it’s time for a major overhaul of the health care system. Along with the economy and Iraq, potential voters see health care as one of the key election issues. Public concern is prompted by the high price of health insurance and problems of access to health care (the “uninsured” problem). But is this public concern is really new ?
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A common view… “There is a pervasive feeling of imminent crisis with respect to the delivery of medical services in the United States. Expenditures on medical care are rising without any offsetting decline in our mortality rates--which compare poorly with those of many other countries. The costs of medical care are increasing at an accelerating rate. Many big-city hospitals, which service the poor, are in a state of financial distress.”
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…but not a very new one. Source: Judith and Lester Lave “Medical care and its delivery” Law and Contemporary Problems Volume 35, 1970 Nearly 40 years of “imminent crisis”
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Time for a different view that focuses on causes rather than symptoms ? Perhaps we need to stop viewing the health care system as a monster, beyond our control, and start seeing it as the product of policies we have adopted. Need to identify the fundamental features --policies or major changes--that have driven the system to this stage.
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Nominal HC Spending Per Capita (1960-2005) 0 1000 2000 3000 4000 5000 6000 PHCE-pc 130 to 5605 (43.3-fold) HOSP-pc 51 to 2063 (40.5-fold) PHYS-pc 30 to 1421 (47.8-fold) DRUG-pc 15 to 677 (45.5-fold) DENT-pc 11 to 292  (26.8-fold)
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A Closer Look at the Components (1960-2005) 0 500 1000 1500 2000 2500 Hospital Drugs Physician Dentist
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CriticalComparisons_060909 - Critical Comparisons Analyzing...

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