What caused the costs of health care to become so high?
In the beginning, let’s take some historical context on American healthcare. In order to do this, we’ll look back towards our time in the American civil war time. The war was fought using outdated strategies and the destruction caused by modern weaponry that were in use at the time result in terrible consequences. A majority of the deaths that occurred on both sides of the war weren’t due to the actual fighting, but rather from the consequences that occurred after an injury from a battlefield was inflicted.
The first was that the medical evacuations of wounded troops was a slow process and often resulted in significant delays in treating the wounded. Additionally, the majority of wounded wounds were treated with Amputations and surgeries related to wounds and often resulted in large-scale infection. You could be able to be able to survive a wound, and then succumb to by the hand of health professionals whose well-intentioned actions could be fatal. The high death tolls could also be blamed on everyday illnesses and illnesses in a period where antibiotics were not available. There were around 600,000 deaths were attributed to all causes, which is more than two percent from all of the U.S. population at the time!
This fundamental knowledge of American medical history aids us to comprehend that up to very recently (around around 1950’s) we had almost no medical technology available to treat major or minor illnesses. There was nothing to treat you. This means that doctor visits were limited to emergencies, so in this scenario, the costs were very low. Another aspect that is now the main driver of modern-day healthcare expenses is that the medical services that were given were paid out of pocket. The insurance was not health-related, and absolutely no health insurance that was paid by someone else , such as an employer. Costs were the responsibility the individual , and possibly some charities which in addition to supporting charitable hospitals for the weak and homeless.
What does health insurance do to health expenses? The impact it has on health care costs is huge. The time that health insurance for people and families became an opportunity for businesses to get out of wage freezes as well as to retain and attract employees following World War II, almost immediately there was a huge fund of money that could be used to pay for health insurance. The money, from the pool to billions in the health insurance pool, helped an ingenuous America to expand the research and development of medical professionals.
As more more Americans gained coverage not just by private, employer-sponsored health insurance, but also through the increase in federal funding, which resulted in the creation of Medicare, Medicaid and expanded veteran health insurance benefits, the search for a cure for nearly anything has turned into a very lucrative business. This is also the main reason behind the wide array of treatment options available. I don’t want to say to you that all of this can be a negative thing. Consider the millions of lives saved or extended and become more productive due to this. However, with a source of funding increasing to the present size (hundreds of billions each year) the pressure to increase health care costs is expected. Doctor’s offers and the majority of us are demanding and have access to the latest medical techniques, drugs and surgical procedures. This means that there is more health care that we can pay for and up until recently, the majority of us were covered by insurance, and costs were paid for by a third party (government and employers). It’s an example of the “perfect storm” for increasing healthcare costs, and in general the storm is getting more intense.
Let’s now look at a crucial issue. Are the current trends in U.S. health care spending viable? Is it possible for America remain competitive in the world with 16% of the money that accounts for 20 percent of our gross national product , is devoted to health care? What are other industrialized nations paying for health insurance? And are they even near the same amount? Add political controversies with an election, and the whole thing gets confused and misrepresented.
I believe we must make an overhaul in how we view healthcare, it’s accessibility and cost, and who will pay for it. If you think I’m about to suggest that we need to arbitrarily and dramatically cut down on the amount we spend on health care, you are incorrect. This is for our fellow citizens - healthcare spending must be protected and preserved to those who are in need. To free the money, those who do not require it, or who can delay or delay it should be proactive. The first step is to convince our politicians that the nation needs a continuous public education regarding the benefits of health prevention strategies.
This is a must and has been a major factor in helping decrease the amount of U.S. smokers for example. If preventive measures would become the norm then it’s plausible to conclude that the number of people who require health care due to the multitude of lifestyle that cause chronic disease would decline significantly. Millions of Americans are suffering from these ailments much earlier than they did in the in the past, and it is due to poor lifestyle choices. This alone will make it possible to save a lot of money to cover the health care costs for those who are in urgent need of medical attention, whether because of an crisis or a chronic illness.
Let’s explore the initial issue. The majority of us aren’t willing to to implement fundamental wellness practices to our everyday lives. We do not exercise but we give a variety of excuses. We don’t eat well, but we provide a variety of excuses. We drink or smoke excessively and offer many reasons what we should do to change it. We aren’t taking advantage of health checks which look at the levels of cholesterol, blood pressure and body weight, yet we give a variety of excuses. We tend to ignore these issues and the result is that we are prone to succumbing earlier than is necessary to the ravages of chronic illnesses such as heart disease or diabetes, as well as the high pressure. We are forced to see medical professionals for these and other routine issues because “health treatment is available” and yet we believe we are not responsible to reduce our dependence for it.
It’s hard for us to hear these truths , yet it is it is easy to blame those who are sick. Perhaps they should be more careful about their health! It could be true , or they may have an illness that is genetic and they are among the unlucky because of without fault. However, the reality is that both of us can take personalized preventive strategies to drastically improving access to healthcare for all others and lowering its cost. It’s better to be productive taking control of something rather instead of shifting the blame to others.