Why Are Health Care Costs So High?
November 02, 2006
More and more Americans are becoming concerned with the rising costs of the U.S. health care system. While it is touted as providing the best medical care in the world, people are increasingly unable to afford it.
Eighty percent of respondents to a recent poll said they were unhappy with the $2.2 trillion, or $7,129 a person, being spent on health care this year in the United States. Most who responded thought medical company profits or malpractice lawsuits were the biggest drivers of spending.
In actuality, medical inflation is driven in large part by the popularity of new drugs and technology, which are frequently much more expensive than older treatments. Other key factors include the rising costs of medical services, waste and inefficiency, and the growing number of chronic diseases caused by the American epidemic of obesity.
A majority of poll respondents favored switching to a universal health care system, as long as doing so did not restrict doctor or treatment choice, or prove more expensive. In addition:
- 82 percent supported expanding government health programs such as Medicaid and the Children's Health Insurance Program