Health Care Facts: Why We Need Health Care Reform
The Health Care System Cost Americans around 2.8 Trillion Dollars in 2013 and is Growing Every Year. Is ObamaCare Enough?
Health Care Facts: health care reform is a good first step towards fixing our health care system. The health care facts show ObamaCare, while an effective program in many respects, isn't enough to reform the 2.8 trillion dollar US healthcare industry. Find out the truth about the American Health Care system and why Americans need to keep fighting for their health care rights.
Health Care Facts: A Case for Health Care Reform
From the growth in personal debt and bankruptcy, to the ever-increasing costs of health care, to the ever-growing profits of the health care corporations, the US health care system is spiraling out of control.
President Obama's health care reform efforts under the Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare or ACA) takes big strides towards making sure Americans get a fair shake in regards to their rights to health care. The ACA even makes health insurance more affordable to lower and middle income Americans and small business employers. However, the sheer amount of power behind the for-profit health care system insures that what the Affordable Care Act can do alone isn't enough.
The fact is ObamaCare's health care reforms are only a stepping stone. Let's take a look at the real health care facts.
This year the American people will spend approximately 2.8 trillion dollars on health care, and it is being projected that Americans will spend 4.5 trillion dollars on health care in 2019.
According to a report by Health Care for America Now, America's five biggest for-profit health insurance companies ended 2009 with a combined profit of $12.2 billion.
The top executives at the five largest for-profit health insurance companies in the United States combined to bring in nearly $200 million in total compensation for 2009.
Health Care Facts: Why America Needs Health Care Reform
It's a health care fact, your costs are going up to ensure that profits are going up. ObamaCare can only do so much to protect your rights. Here on the health care facts on why America needs Health Care Reform.
- The United States spends more on health care than Japan, Germany, France, China, the U.K., Italy, Canada, Brazil, Spain and Australia combined.
- If the U.S. health care system was a country, it would be the 6th largest economy on the entire planet.
- Back in 1960, an average of $147 was spent per person on health care in the United States. By 2009, that number had skyrocketed to $8,086.
- Price setting is not regulated by government. Prices are set by the private for profit organization AMA / Specialty Society Relative Value Scale Update Committee Learn More.
- A 2009 study found approximately 62 percent of all personal bankruptcies in the United States are related to medical bills. 78 percent had health insurance, although many were bankrupted anyway due to gaps in coverage like co-payments and deductibles and uncovered services. Other people had private insurance but got so sick that they lost their job and lost their insurance. This study did not take into account other debts owed at the time of bankruptcy.
- The average family of 4 spends about $20,728 per year on healthcare. That’s more than 7 times what the average household spends annually on gas ($2,912).
- The U.S. health care industry has spent more than 5 billion dollars on lobbying our politicians in Washington D.C. since 1998.
- Hospital Executives continue to make millions of dollars in profit while consumers struggle to pay their ever increasing medical costs.
- Health insurance administration expenses account for 8 percent of all health care costs in the United States each year. In Finland, health insurance administration expenses account for just 2 percent of all health care costs each year.
- The United States ambulance industry makes more money a year than the entire movie industry does.
- Although ObamaCare regulates insurance the bill isn't perfect. ObamaCare left room for insurance companies to raise premiums to cover costs of covering pre-existing conditions. The insurance companies have raised many Americans rates by up to 3 times their cost last year.
- ObamaCare is being forced to close pre-existing conditions pools because funding is running low. However, the increased cost of premiums will remain unaffected. So, rates were raised to pay for a program that is being shut down because it is too expensive. Now people with pre-existing conditions will go back to being uninsured.
- Premiums are projected to keep rising. Don't blame ObamaCare, this was happening anyways. ObamaCare still helps to keep insurance affordable for low and middle income Americans.
- In 2013, Blue Shield of California has announced that it wants to raise health insurance premiums by up to 20 percent to combat rising health care costs.
- Nearly half of all Americans Use prescription drugs.
- In 2013 over $280,000,000,000 will be spent on prescription drugs.
- Over 25 for-profit companies made over a billion dollars in profit off of prescription drugs in 2008 alone.
- According to the CDC, approximately three quarters of a million people a year are rushed to emergency rooms in the United States because of adverse reactions to pharmaceutical drugs.
- In America today, you are 64 times more likely to be killed by a doctor than you are by a gun.
- People living in the United States are three times more likely to have diabetes than people living in the United Kingdom.
- Today, people living in Puerto Rico have a greater life expectancy than people living in the United States do.
- According to OECD statistics, Americans are twice as obese as Canadians are.
- Greece has twice as many hospital beds per person as the United States does.
- The state of California now ranks dead last out of all 50 states in the number of emergency rooms per million people.
- It has been estimated that hospitals overcharge Americans by about 10 billion dollars every single year.
- One trained medical billing advocate says that over 90 percent of the medical bills that she has audited contain "gross overcharges".
- It is not uncommon for insurance companies to get hospitals to knock their bills down by up to 95 percent, but if you are uninsured or you don’t know how the system works then you are out of luck.
- Want more facts about uninsured Americans? Learn more about uninsured Americans from the Kaiser Family Foundation (one of the best resources on health care reform) and how ObamaCare helps.
Health Care Facts: Is a For Profit Health Care System Bad? Who is to Blame?
The facts on health care can be scary. However, we as Americans and as humans have always faced seemingly unsolvable problems with frightening odds. ObamaCare health care reform can only do so much to fix our problems, like any other problem the answer starts with you. A for profit system will always do what it can to make a profit. This doesn't make any one person or institution bad or good, it's simply millions of people like you and me doing their job.
The Affordable Care Act and Health Care Reform
The ongoing healthcare crisis wasn't fixed overnight by the Affordable Care Act, but today the sheer amount of new benefits, rights and protections for consumers paired with new rules and regulations on the healthcare and health insurance industry have helped to curb spending in healthcare, curb the growth in consumer costs, and to reduce the uninsured rate.
A May 2014 Gallup poll shows under ObamaCare (the Affordable Care Act) the uninsured rate is the lowest it's been since 2008 when Gallup started polling the uninsured rate. Data from HHS on the uninsured in 2007 shows that this could actually the lowest uninsured rate since before 1998. The uninsured rate for U.S. adults in April was 13.4%, down from 15.0% in March.
Health Care Facts: What Can We Do?
If you are upset by the health care facts, there are some positive things you can do that start with you. Take advantage of the wellness visits and preventative measured offered for free on all health insurance subject to the ACA's new rules and regulations. Take a serious look at the prescription drugs you are using and you are giving to your children, do you really need these? Always take the medication you do need, if you have diabetes then you need to treat your illness. Eat the right foods, organic foods, local meats and produce, raw foods and other non-processed foods increase wellness and life expectancy dramatically. Even Walmart has organic selections these days.
Most of all, help spread the health care facts and support whatever type of health care reform you can. We as a society created our health care system and it's up to us to fix it the Affordable Care Act leaves the door open for future health care reforms. It is unrealistic to think that one law would solve all the problems of one of the biggest most powerful institutions in the world, but together we have made a difference and if we keep at it we can continue to see positive changes.