Polic Process Part I

Policy Process: Health Care Costs
Lori Ann T. Cruz
HCS/455 – Health Care Policy: The Past and the Future
Denise Morrow
March 07, 2011

The United Sates has one of the most comprehensive health care systems in the world. However, the cost of health care and expenditure continues to increase faster than the rate of inflation and the national income growth. Millions of Americans are also uninsured, which limits access to health care. Moreover, the increasing cost of health care and the number of uninsured has prompted policy makers to form and implement policies that address these issues. In addition, the current health care reform addresses major issues such as health care cost control and providing insurance coverage. Therefore, the purpose of this paper is to discuss issues concerning health care costs and spending and discuss major proposals to help contain costs.   The implantation and legislative stage of the current health reform will also be discussed.
Current Issue
According to the Kaiser website, for several years the cost of health care in the United States has been increasing and in 2008 health care expenditure surpassed $2.3 trillion. Health care cost expenditure in 2008 was three times the $714 billion spent in 1990 and in 1980 was over eight times the $253 billion spent.   Controlling and reducing the growth in health care costs has become a major priority for policy makers. Moreover, health care spending in 2008 per resident was about $7,681, which accounts for 16.2% of the United States Gross Domestic Product (GDP) and health care expenditures grew 4.4%. Although health care expenditure in 2008 was a slower rate compared to recent years, expenditures still outpaced inflation and the national income growth (Kaiser Edu, 2011).
Darling   (2010) indicates that compared to other countries in the world, such as Germany, Switzerland, Sweden, and Norway, the United States has the highest health care costs.   The costs of health care have been a...