High cost of health care

(Ref. 603)
Problem Components
Policy issue area: Science
Policy issue: Health
Description: Cost of health care is rising at a considerable higher rate than inflation or productivity (12% of GNP, and growing at twice the rate of inflation).
Symptoms: Medical treatment costs; hospitalization costs; income of medical professionals.
Causes: Lack of policies on health care; lack of government controls over costs of medical services; lack of professional responsibility on the part of the medical profession; basic inefficiency of the health care system; 37 million Americans have no private health insurance coverage.
Cost of problem: During next 15 years the Medicare program is projected to accumulate a liability of $1 trillion; workers' health insurance significantly increases costs of production.
Solution Components
Resources: Medical profession; health care facilities; business and industry; Federal and state governments.
Goal: 1. Increase average life expectancy by 10 years through life-style changes: eating sensibly, stopping smoking, and exercising moderately
2. Control health costs by: improving the efficiency of the health care delivery system; limiting the reimbursements to doctors and hospitals; and providing consumers with more options for health maintenance and care
3. Preserve a healthy environment, to minimize the dangers to health posed by modern industrial society.
Program area: Health development
Program-remedy: 1. Comprehensive national health care cost control and reimbursement legislation
2. A program for long-term health care, including cost-effective home health care
3. Allocate the use of costly, complicated medical technology, to optimize benefits according to useful life expectancy and other socially valid criteria
4. Study experiences of other industrial countries in health care, and bring good practices into American system.
Program-prevent: 1. Invest a higher proportion of health care funds in health education and motivation; and illness prevention
2. Encourage the development of health maintenance organizations and competitive medical plans.
Cost of program: -
Beneficiaries: Citizens and residents of the United States.

Return to Exhibit H

Return to Contents