High costs of care and insurance don’t add up to health care reform plan
side note:The high cost of healthcare usually ends up in the consumers’ laps. This is very much the same thing in regards to medical malpractice insurance, we need to learn that this model cannot last forever.
By JAMES H. “SMOKEY” SHOTT
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
Depending upon whom you ask, the U.S. either has the best health care in the world, or really bad health care. The two main complaints are that health care is too expensive, and that too many Americans don’t have health insurance, and therefore lack access to adequate care. Both issues must be considered in perspective.
The U.S. Census Bureau tells us that in 2007, the last year for which it has data, the number of people with health insurance increased to 253.4 million, and the number without health insurance dropped to 45.7 million, or 15.3 percent. Given the current economic situation, more people now don’t have insurance.
However, consider that among those without coverage 9.2 million are in households earning $75,000 or more, 9.7 million are illegal aliens and non-citizens, and many don’t have coverage for three months a year, or less. At worst, the number is closer to 30 million, about 10 percent of the actual citizen population. The United States government should not concern itself with whether people who are not citizens have health insurance, nor be concerned whether citizens with the means to purchase insurance decide not to.
Some factors in the high cost of health care are:
• The U.S. has the latest medical technology in the world, and more of it than other countries, especially those with national health systems. That technology is expensive: Late generation scanners, for example, cost $1.5 million to $3 million each, and we have lots of them.
• We have the best pharmaceuticals available, although it takes too long to get through the research and development and approval phases, and new drugs are expensive. According to MedicalNet.com, “it takes an average of 12 years for an experimental drug to [get] to your medicine cabinet … Only 5 in 5,000 drugs that enter preclinical testing progress to human testing. One of these 5 drugs that are tested in people is approved. The chance for a new drug to actually make it to market is thus only 1 in 5,000.” A U.S. Department of State publication says, “Estimates about the cost of developing a new drug vary widely, from a low of $800 million to nearly $2 billion per drug.”