Check out USA Today – today, http://www.usatoday.com/money/industries/health/2006-10-15-health-concern-usat_x.htm.
A USA Today poll regarding the quality and costs of the U.S. healthcare system found that a “growing unease” has brought on a desire for a major reform. Eighty percent of respondents were dissatisfied with the amount the nation spends on healthcare, which has been estimated to be $2.2 trillion this year.
Author Julie Appleby asks why the cost of healthcare continues to rise. Her answer:
” Major drivers of medical inflation include how rapidly Americans embrace new drugs and technology, which are often more expensive than older treatments. Public demand is a big factor. Patients generally want the newest treatment, equating new with “better,” even before solid proof exists.
Other factors include rising prices for medical services, particularly hospital prices, growing labor costs and waste and inefficiency. America’s obesity epidemic is also fueling spending on medical care.”
Technology – I could see why that would change the price – but one topic I did NOT see in the article, was the fact there is NO PRICE REGULATION FOR HOSPITALS. Yup – no laws in the US to say it is wrong to charge $6.00 for 1 Tylenol!
The author continues to state “Health policy experts say there is no magic solution to controlling costs.” Well – that may be correct. No magic solution, but one suggestion that I think would work wonders – is some regulation on what can be charged!
Check out the article – it is thought provoking!