Chou et al publication on health coverage and the health industry’s research and data analysis from current population survey has it that; about fifty four percent of United state citizen population had employer’s sponsors health insurance in 2006 with five percent (5%) having non-group insurance and almost sixteen percent (16%) of the total population are currently uninsured, several report shows that these set of people i. . the uninsured people receive less protective care, most of which are diagnosed at more complicated disease stages and tends to be given less beneficial care thus having higher mortality rates (Chou, 2009).
The lack of insurance has unpleasant effect on the uninsured populace, regardless, the uninsured faces high out of pocket spending than their insured counterparts. eferencing the report of Bureau of Labor Statics that generally employment will increase about 10% between 2006 and 2016 therefore employment opportunity for homecare aids personnel will raise about 51%, automatically opportunities for physical therapist subordinates are expected to increase, more so, job opportunities for registered nurses will increase by approximately 24% though this statement look promising but what is not clear is, to what degree are these employment in health care associated to insurance coverage (p. 282).
Result of research analysis carried out these experts indicates that differences in uninsurance rate exist in the health care labor force the disparities diverges extensively with relevance to the health care industry along with other industries and employees category, for instance employee working in ambulatory unit and residential care are liable to be uncovered hence health care personnel in nursing home and residential situate earn less, this factor can be associated to higher rate in uninsurance.
However, most low salary earner cannot meet the expenses of first-class health insurance even when coverage is presented their employer (p. 2285). Chou et al in their final analysis statement affirm differences in uninsurance exist in the United States health care labor force and about 1 out 8 in the healthcare workforce require insurance coverage. Implementing policies distinctively meant to ensure adequate insurance for health care worker will not only aid the workforce but will promote of the health entire citizen (p. 287).
Conversely, Das and Das made it clear in their publication “Health Care in the United States: Why is Price So Sensitive? ” that the soaring health care rate has an unpleasant effect on productivity causing a negative impact in production in all industries at large. They added that the inability of consumer to be able to afford better health care was due to declining wages. As a result of this the United States comparative advantage becomes a nonissue (p. 462).
Relatively wages increases situation forces the consumer and health care workforce with low income to exhausting a greater portion of their income on health care, obtainable literature could not explain why the rate of health care in the United Sates is increasing and why majority of the populace are not in the insurance network. It is not possible to explain the survey of price insensitivity to health care supply by examining the health care sector only consequently it must look into the interrelationship between health care and non- health care sector on the United States economy.
The authors’ uses partial equilibrium model in their studies to explain the lethargic development of health care amid price inelasticity but the model cannot explain why health care supply is in elastic initially. Further disturbing issue relating to increasing health care cost is the high cost of comparative advantage of United States industries through labour productivity of the U. S. research conducts by other professional mentioned in Das and Das publication indicated that health related issue result in lost of economic productivity (p. 463).
Further econometric study by the authors show that states with higher per capital health care cost have lower labour productivity in all U. S production industries either health or non health (p. 466). In order to put an end to this effect the authors indicated that partial equilibrium models will not enough rather the use of general equilibrium model should be employed. Conclusively, they derive evidence that health care rate is raising sharply in the U. S making the United States a major spender on health care, it was derived that increasing health care cost provides a negative externality by reducing labour productivity.
The investigation provides clarification of the general equilibrium model of the health care and non-health care sector where higher health care rate reduce labour productivity. On the other hand, (Thompson and Cutler 2010), in the Benefits Quarterly, published a report on the health care consumerism movement. The publication was centered on the birth of health care consumerism movement which started as a result of the need to take care of the factors that contributed to the increase in health care costs and the backlash to managed care.
According to the authors, the factors include “lack of consumer awareness of the cost of health care service, the effect of health care on profits and wages, and the need to engage consumers more actively in health care decisions” (p. 24). Additionally, the gaps which they identified included the fact that consumers do not have the required knowledge and education and therefore are disparate participants in the “provider-patient partnership” (p. 26).
They also stated that the regular need of customers to seek expert guidance from professionals when in need of health care information make the customers feel under qualified when trying to determine the value of the required health services. Furthermore, they opined that most consumers would prefer feeling more in charge of the choices that are offered to them after which they identified the need for incentives in order to get the attention of both consumers and providers as one of the gaps in health care consumerism today.
The researchers then moved forward to highlight some keys that are vital in sustaining the health care consumerism strategy after which they highlighted the role of the community in ensuring that good health is collectively achieved. In doing this, they emphasized on the importance of the employers incentives, wellness programs and other activities that could boost their employees’ health. The article was concluded by the researchers stating that there should be a communal approach by all the stakeholders in the health care system to better shape and simplifies the consumerism movement.
In the same publication as the previously mentioned researchers (Benefits Quarterly), Domaszewicz, Havlin, and Connolly presented an article on health care consumerism as well, but this time, considered incentives, behavior change, and uncertainties. This article was directed at providing some lessons that will serve as a guide for employers who are presently thinking of implementing “a consumerist approach to improve employee health and control the cost trend” (p. 29), on the necessary courses of action.
The researchers asserted to the fact that most organizations would strive to contain costs in all ramifications especially in health care benefits so as to curb the after effects of last year’s global economic meltdown. In order to curtail the effects of this on the employee, Domaszewicz et al. suggested that the employees should employ lower-cost options such as consumer-directed health plans (CDHPs) which are high-deductible plans that contain employee-controlled spending account.
The employee-controlled account consists of a health savings account (HSA) or health reimbursement arrangement (HRA). The researchers however claimed that CDHPs are just the beginning and should therefore be followed with a “robust incentive- and value-based designs for health management” (p. 30). The researchers further highlighted the issues involved in the debate between “changing behaviors” versus “changing outcomes” after which they stated the several ways through which the employee can achieve the target of both taking action and achieving positive results.
In addition, the researchers averred that incentives could take many forms and therefore recommended the right incentive mix after which they cited a case example. The researchers did not fail to mention the uncertainty that is evident in health care reforms and the measures that employers are taking against it. In summary, the researchers posited that the new strategies carry their own element of risk and as a result, they pointed out a few general lessons that can guide the cause of action. Comparison and Contrast of the Findings
Chou et al in their publication investigated the rates of uninsurance amidst employees in the United States health care workforce via the health care industry, its sub category, and workforce. They used the 2004 to 2006 National Health data survey in assessing the rate of health insurance coverage by employing the use of multivariate logistic regression analysis to estimate the probability of uninsured workers in the health industry subtype (p. 2282). On the other hand, Monica Das and Sandwip K. Das examined the insensitivity of price with regards to health care in the United States as a means of increase health care rate, it’s unpleasant effect and negative impact productivity in all production industries, they formulated a two sector model of the United States economy i. e. the non-health sector and the health sector employed the use of general equilibrium model and econometric model based on interstate production function for the estimation in providing explanation with a two sector general equilibrium model where higher health cost reduces labor productivities in both health as well as non-health sector (p. 72).
Both publications were centered on the cost effects of Health Care in the United States. The difference in their manner of approach however, lays in the fact that while Das and Das concentrated on the insensitivity of the price of the supply of Health Care services, Chou et al. focused on the rates of uninsurance. However, Michael Thompson and Charles M. Cutler in their analysis examined the health care consumerism movement taking step forward, considering the rise in health care cost and lack of consumer awareness of the cost of health care services.
The publication reviews the movement in health care consumerism and further identifies the gaps within recent health care consumerism; more so, the authors scrutinized the lack of consumer awareness of health care service cost, the effect of health care on wages, the need to engage consumers more actively in health care decisions, what sustainable health care consumerism framework should entail and what role on the community play in the movement of consumerism.
From a similar perspective, Domaszewicz, Havlin and Connolly, examined Health Care Consumerism in a different context in their publication, the article focused on incentives, behavior change, and uncertainties. Presented in the article, are the methods of approach for employers thinking of implementing “a consumerist approach to improve employee health and control the cost trend” (p. 9), the authors however recommended that employees should utilize lower-cost options for instance the “CDHPs” that control employee-controlled spending account, the account which consists of Health Savings Account or the Health Reimbursement Arrangement and not failing to point out the uncertainty that is evident in health care reforms and the measures that employers are taking against it.
The main difference between their manners of approaching the topic is that Thompson and Cutler discussed the birth of the consumerism movement, the gaps present and some effective keys that will enable the development of a sustainable health care consumerism network, Domaszewicz et al. based their publication on the provision of guidelines for helping employers on implementing a consumerist approach that will be of benefit to their employees’ work health.
Synthesis Juxtaposing the findings from the contributions of these articles, it will be observed that the ideas behind what the authors of the four publications centered on the need for the improvement of the health care system as a whole. From the insurance aspect of the health care system, to the general pricing system of health care services, and the health care consumerism movements. The four publications all raised various concerns on the need for better health care for the teeming populace which includes the health care professionals who make the services available and the consumers to whom the health care services are rendered.
It should be agreed that increase in health care costs and the effect of health care costs on profits and wages, have an adverse effect in the supply of health care in the United States and unfavorable impact on labor force productivity creating a negative production externality in all industries. The results of the findings presented by the authors have shown that there are evident lapses in some aspects of the present Health Care system and there is a pressing need therefore, to right the wrongs found and presented by these authors.
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