Identify and evaluate at least three forces that have affected the development of the health care system in the U.S.
The U.S. healthcare system has continually evolved due to the success of innovative fore-thought. These innovations have been both strategic and tactical, influenced by all segments of the health care industry. There are many key strategic and tactical innovations, I will elaborate on three forces I feel affect the development of the healthcare system in the U.S.; they are: Increasing cost of healthcare, affect of economics on the healthcare system, and labor force trends in the U.S. as it relate to healthcare. * The steadily increasing cost of healthcare in the U.S. 1. The Unites States is known as the land of plenty, but if you are a native of this great nation you might feel quite differently about that statement. Being poor here has to be much like being poor anywhere else in the world, poor is poor; what might be different is opportunity. The opportunity that we are going to discuss is that of the pursuit of receiving the best healthcare regardless of race, creed, national origin, or station in life (being with or without money).
The cost of health care in the U.S. neared 2.6 trillion dollars in 2010, this is a staggering amount of money; but what make it more astonishing is that this amount is ten times higher than the 1980’s sum of 256 billion dollars that was generated by health care system (population bulletin, 2008). The rate of funds generated by health care has slowed down in recent years, but still is expected to grow faster than the national income. Our country need to address this growing burden and not just let politician say it’s a major policy priority, really make it a priority for the overall good of our nation. Furthermore, the United States has been in a recession for most of the past decade, resulting in a high rate of unemployment and lower incomes for many Americans.
These conditions have put even more attention on health spending due to its affordability. Since 2002, employer- sponsored health care coverage for employee and family premiums increased by 97%, making the pursuit of health care a burden on the workers and employers. Medicare covers disabled people as well as the elderly; while Medicaid provides medical coverage for low-income families. Medicare enrollment has grown tremendously over the years due to the aging baby boomers and Medicaid due to the recession.
This has added considerably to government spending, straining both federal and state budgets. Health spending accounted for 17.9% of the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2010 (kaiserEDU.com, Health Policy from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, Explained). * Economic affect healthcare.
2. Economics and health care is very simple to explain, especially by someone who has seen first-hand families being mentally tormented, because they could not afford dental care for their children, the check-up not covered by the company’s insurance to enable your child to be eligible to play football, or not being able to afford the prescription medication. There are many reasons families go without medical care, and far too many times it’s just because the individual is living just above the poverty line; which make them ineligible for assistance. I personally feel the affect economics have on healthcare or the lack there of, can never be explained any clearer; unless you are experiencing it yourself.
* Labor force trends in the U.S.
3. In the 1960’s the U.S. labor force grow at the rate of 1.7 percent annually and continue to grow into the 70’s as the baby boomer (those born between 1946-1964 generation continued to reach adulthood and enter the workforce. During this same period women began to enter the workforce as never seen before causing the labor force to grow at a rate of 2.6 percent annually. One might not see this as a health issue, but with women joining the workforce men began to feel the pressure, causing health complication. Women on the other hand who at one time lived the life of a care free house wife, but now working in corporate America; has started to feel stress now heart attacks are the number one killer of the American female species.
I know there was nothing glamorous about being a slave, but slaves lived with just about no illnesses or life threatening diseases, know blacks have the highest numbers when it comes to diabetes, HIV, and high blood pressure than any other ethnic group (but we are free), freedom should make us take life more serious and take care of ourselves as well as our children.
During the 1980’s and 90’s fewer people entered the workforce, therefore the labor force growth slowed down and ranged from 1.6 to 1.1 percent. Even though we had covered on set of baby boomers we were about to see another set reach adulthood and struggle for a place in the workplace (U.S. labor force trends), in-turn means no health insurance because they are no longer their parents dependent. Healthcare is becoming a great necessity due to infectious diseases, the year of the flower children seem to have spread more than just flowers.
Health Insurance Companies are not seeing their usual capital gain at this point, consequently a change in the way benefits are paid across overall is about to change. At one time people thought as long as they paid their insurance premiums the benefits would be there when or if it was needed (we learned to read the fine print). * Speculate whether or not these forces will continue to affect the health care system in the U.S. over the next decade. (Include a force that was not mentioned that you believe will impact the health care system of the nation.
Unfortunately we show no immediate signs that the cost of healthcare will decline in the Unites States anytime soon. With all the bickering about healthcare, there’s one fact everyone seems to agree on: American medicine cost too much, especially considering what we’re getting for the money. As expert look toward the future, they don’t see the cost dropping dramatically anytime soon.
Curbing the rise in healthcare cost depend on our ability to gain control of the many forces causing them to climb, technology has helped other industries lower costs by eliminating waste and increasing efficiencies, but it’s done the opposite in healthcare (Lisa Zamosky, Los Angeles Times, September 12, 2012. Without any dispute I’m sure we can all agree the economy will always affect healthcare and the people who need it, which will always be everyone. We all hope the economy will make a rapid recovery, but that’s just not how things work; just as it took decades of bad decisions to get us where we are today it’s going to take time for our nation to make a meaningful recovery.
Over the next 50 years, the labor force is projected to grow even more slowly (at about 0.6 percent per year) as baby boomers retire. What will this mean as far as health care is concern; well as we grow older our need for healthcare on a regular base becomes more essential than it was when we were in our prime (population bulletin). Baby boomers, reaching senior living status promotes a different type of demand on the medical system; a tremendous demand for those employed by senior living facilities, as well as those providing home health care. * Evaluate the importance of technology in the health care system.
Technology is the driving force behind the universe, if you are not a believer just think about the devices you use to get through your day; hence technology. Medical technology is constantly presenting us with new devices that make our lives more fulfilling, we have laser surgery, hip replacement, artificial limb to replace worn out or damaged ones, cataract surgery that have advanced so rapidly it’s amazing, can you believe a person can have heart surgery and be walking around the next day? This is all because of technology, it’s amazing. This is something we cannot put a price on, what is being learned and the advances being made due to research technology is saving lives as well as making lives better each and every day.
KaiserEDU.com, Health Policy, from the Henry J. Kaiser family foundation, Explained, Cost and Spending.
Population Bulletin, Vol. 63 No. 2, June 2008, U.S. Labor Forces Trends
By: Marlene A. Lee and Mark Mather
(Marlene A. Lee is a senior research associate and editor of the Population Bulletin at the Population Reference Bureau.
She holds degrees in public policy analysis and development sociology/demography from the University of North Carolina
At Chapel Hill and Cornell University.
Mark Mather is associate vice president of Domestic Programs at the Population Reference Bureau, where he coordinates
several projects that communicate population research to advocacy groups, educators, the media, and the public.
He holds a doctorate and a master’s degree in sociology/demography from the University of Maryland.
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