The Rising Cost of Health Care

Topics: Health care, Health insurance, Medicine Pages: 2 (589 words) Published: November 3, 2002
Rising medical costs are a worldwide problem, but nowhere are they higher than in the U.S. Although Americans with good health insurance coverage may get the best medical treatment in the world, the health of the average American, as measured by life expectancy and infant mortality, is below the average of other major industrial countries. Inefficiency, fraud and the expense of malpractice suits are often blamed for high U.S. costs, but the major reason is overinvestment in technology and personnel. There are three issues when it comes to the health care cost rising. The first is the rising cost in prescription drugs. The second area of rising cost is the increased technologies when it comes to the medical industry. The third problem is the aging population. Prescription drugs are the area of the fastest growing health care expense, and it is projected to grow at 20 to 30 percent each year over the next several years. There are many newer, more expensive drugs on the market, and the use of these prescriptions is exploding. In addition, with so much television advertising, many consumers ask their doctors for expensive, brand name drugs when there may actually be a generic drug that works just as well. Over the past decade, scientists have made significant advancements in the treatment of certain diseases. Unfortunately, just like any new product, the cost of developing these new technologies and treatments is extremely high. Plus, unlike other technology, heath technology generally doesn't decrease in price over time. With today's aging population there is an increased demand for medical care. More and more people with medical insurance are relying on the health care system as new technologies and treatments become available. This leads to a grater number of claims for payment by insurance companies, the costs of which are passed back to health care consumers. The baby-boom generation is entering its peak health-care using period. Over eighty...

References: Lowery, Barbara J. "The Rising Cost of Health Care." Universigy of Pennsylvania Almanac. 2002. (5 March 2002).
Goldstein, Amy. "Bush to Seek medicare Prescriptiopn Benefit for Poorest Seniors" The Washington Post Online. 2002. ( 29 January 2002).
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