Friday, May 2, 2008

Cost Factor. Again.

I know it keeps coming up. I really wish it did not.

The cost of health care keeps floating to the surface of the ongoing national debate. While the subject of universal coverage is frequently on people's lips, it is often the cost issues that place people among the 47 million uninsured. As we proceed to wade through the point and counterpoint of the ongoing race for the Oval Office this subject gets touched upon with increasing frequency.

In a Letter to the Editor published in The New York Times, Jennifer Baron writes:

Ultimately though, universal coverage, regardless of when a mandate is introduced, cannot succeed until health care becomes affordable. To achieve this we must recognize that costs are only a symptom, albeit an intractable one, of a far deeper problem overshadowed by the wrangling over universal coverage: the dysfunctional structure of our health care system.

Only after reshaping the way health care is paid for and delivered will costs sustain and decrease. And only then can universal coverage become a reality.

In the Kansas City Star's MidWest Voices Steve Winn writes:

New reports this week underscore the critical need to rein in health care costs. They are damaging the economy, squeezing American families and worsening the federal government’s fiscal problems.

And as many health care experts have observed, Americans aren’t even getting their money’s worth. The country ranks well behind many other countries on health measures.

As someone who has felt this crunch personally in the past, I can understand easily how this issue is beginning a slow boil. With millions being wasted on antiquated paper based systems and other outmoded approaches there is plenty of room for improvement and reform.

SOURCE: "Reshaping Health Care" 05/01/08
SOURCE: "Thrsday Editorial: Fixing the Health Care Squeeze" 05/01/08
photo courtesy of stopnlook, used under its Creative Commons license

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