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4 Replies Latest reply: Sep 11, 2009 2:50 AM by Ammyidm RSS

Is Affordable Health Care Possible?

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Affordable Health Care*
All Americans should have access to affordable health care, including prescription drugs, and these costs should not burden future generations.

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Something has gone wrong in America when millions of people are just one medical emergency away from bankruptcy and financial ruin. How many of us are sure we can get quality health care when we need it for our children, our loved ones, and ourselves? Something needs to change.

 

Getting the health care we need shouldn't bankrupt us as individuals, businesses, or government. Businesses, individuals, and communities have a shared responsibility. Getting clear up-front explanations of cost, eliminating unnecessary paperwork, and more research on what works best is a start.

 

Cost is at the root of this problem. Health care is expensive and getting more so every day. The health care system is a maze of paperwork and confusing charges that make it impossible for an ordinary family to understand what they have to pay to get the care they need. The United States spends $1.9 trillion a year on care - some $6,280 for every man, woman and child in the country. Health care expenditures are 16 percent of the U.S. economy, well above what any other industrialized nation spends on health care. And these nations make health care available to all their citizens. Yet, when we compare health outcomes-measurements of health such as infant mortality or life expectancy-the U.S. trails these nations

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Skyrocketing health costs jeopardize financial and physical well being - and dreams

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Trying to balance the cost of good health against checkbooks causes tremendous problems for millions of Americans.

 

60 percent of small business owners say that the rising costs of health care amount to a "crisis."

 

23 percent of Americans have problems paying medical bills, and millions go bankrupt every year because of medical costs.

 

 

The average cost of health insurance for an American family now exceeds the yearly income of a minimum wage worker.

 

Many Americans may be tied to jobs they dislike or stopped from opening their own businesses because of the excessive cost of health care coverage or preexisting medical conditions that deter them from changing insurance providers.

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Health care costs put American industry at a disadvantage

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Companies that do the right thing by providing health coverage for their employees face enormous costs. Take General Motors, for example. Health care costs add more than $1,000 to the cost of every vehicle sold. It's cheaper for them to make cars in Canada rather than at home because of these expenses. In fact, more than half of the CEOs of America's largest companies cite rising health care costs as the most significant cost pressure facing their companies. These costs are sapping our nation's competitive strength.

 

As a result of these high costs, some employers have stopped offering health insurance or require employees to pay more for their health insurance. These rising costs make coverage unaffordable for many people and leave even more with the feeling that they are on the verge of losing their insurance and their peace of mind.

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Affordable prescription drugs

Prescription drugs save lives, reduce pain and suffering, and prevent diseases and illnesses from worsening. Yet too many people cannot afford the medications they need, with prescription medicines accounting for the largest share of out-of-pocket medical expenses.
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The Medicare prescription drug benefit is a good step toward making drugs affordable, at least for those 65 and older. But it can certainly be made better. And with 47 million uninsured Americans, and many millions more with inadequate prescription drug coverage, more needs to be done.

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Imagine an America with affordable, quality health care. That challenge has been met.
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Watch for my next article. It will open a window to a solution!!!!

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  • Re: Is Affordable Health Care Possible?
    Archangel Novice
    Currently Being Moderated
    If you want to lower the price on healthcare the place to start is to get the government and politics out of the business. The marketplace will work if given a chance.
  • Re: Is Affordable Health Care Possible?
    Lighthouse24 Master
    Currently Being Moderated

    I agree with your basic message that health care is either unavailable or unaffordable for far too many people in the U.S. However, I'd like to add a comment on your statement:

    Health care expenditures are . . . well above what any other industrialized nation spends on health care. Yet, when we compare health outcomes-measurements of health such as infant mortality or life expectancy - the U.S. trails these nations.

    Those outcomes-measurements are tracked and reported by the United Nations Population Division, and it's worth noting that not every nation measures things the same way. For example, most nations that are ahead of the U.S. in terms of infant mortality don't include premature births and babies weighing less than 1,000 grams or measuring less than 35 centimeters in their infant mortality rate (they are counted as stillbirths if the baby dies). Some nations require that a baby live for up to 12 months before it is registered as a live birth. The U.S. reports every baby that shows any sign of life.

    Another related point -- the U.S. has double the teenage pregnancy rate of any other industrialized nation. Babies of teenage mothers have five times the health problems, and are more than twice as likely to be victims of abuse. And then there's malpractice insurance and tort claims (which are rising about three times faster than health insurance costs) and causing some doctors to practice "defensive medicine" -- i.e., the "outcome" that about half the doctors in the U.S. are striving for is not a world class measure of wellness, but rather to simply avoid getting sued (source: Health Care News, January 2006).

    So yes, health care is expensive -- and there are a few nations that provide superior care at a lower cost. Compared to the world in general, however, the standard of health care in the U.S. is very high by most measures, and the places where it doesn't "measure up" may have a lot more to do with how things are measured -- and with social/cultural issues that other nations aren't experiencing -- rather than economics. In other words, I think we'll have to fix some other big things in order to really fix that.

  • Re: Is Affordable Health Care Possible?
    HealthLifeAGT Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated

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  • Re: Is Affordable Health Care Possible?
    Ammyidm Newbie
    Currently Being Moderated
    Affordable health care for uninsured Americans has become most concerned. Affordable prescription drugs are possible by purchasing at legitimate online pharmacies.

    International Drug Mart (http://www.inernationaldrugmart.com/) is also an online pharmacy serving hundereds of uninsured americans with low cost prescription drugs from very well reputed manufacturers.

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