Wednesday, May 03, 2006

The HealthCare Crisis

The Healthcare Crisis: "As exploding health care costs cross a threshold of affordability, the American health system will experience significant turmoil and a cascade of impacts. All health care stakeholders - patients, providers, suppliers, payers and employers - will suffer. There will be calls for dramatic health system changes.
We are approaching that precipice. Over the last 20 years, medical inflation has averaged double the general inflation rate. But in 2002 and 2003, premiums increased 12.7% and 15% respectively, about 8 times the general inflation rate, and the greatest health care cost growth in more than a decade.
Without significant adjustments to the ways our health system works, there is little reason to believe that cost can be reined in within the near future. Health care will simply price itself out of the market for a large percentage of Americans.
The sheer magnitude of health cost increases are negating health coverage's value to employers, who are fighting to remain profitable in the teeth of an economic downturn and who have equally onerous cost pressures from areas like workers' compensation and professional liability. Employers' patience probably is not limitless; it is unlikely they will allow a tradition of voluntary sponsorship of coverage to continue eroding their bottom lines and viability.
And if we cannot control cost, no form of financing will be sufficient."
I guess it's typical of a capitalistic system that healthcare starts to become a big issue only when it starts pinching the pocket. Issues of equity and justice ( healthcare for everyone, including the poor) are always going to be secondary in such a society !

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