The History and Evolution of Health Care Economics

The History and Evolution of Health Care Economics
Rosa Marcelino
University of Phoenix
Economics: The Financing of Health Care
Maria-Cristina Sesler
October 01, 2010

The History and Evolution of Health Care Economics
      In order to understand the health care industry, we must first understand and know the history of health care and have knowledge of the events that lead the country to where it is today.   The history of health care and its economics has changed drastically over the course of history.
      During the early years of America’s colonization, there were very few trained physicians, and the select few that were available only catered to the wealthy.   If a person required any type of health care, this was usually handled by whoever was available at the time (Kestner, n.d.). Early physicians did not have a vast knowledge of diseases and treatments used were not what we would consider appropriate.   Treatments included bleeding, purging, and enemas.   The medicines that were used to treat any and all ailments were tonics and herbs (“19th century doctors“, 2009).
      Patients did not go to the doctor’s office to be treated for an ailment; they were treated in their homes.   Even though there were hospitals, many refused to go to the facilities. Hospitals were considered to be unsanitary and many people believed that their conditions would worsen and they would die if they were treated at a hospital (“19th century doctors“, 2009).   Physicians at the time were unable to quench their fear as they themselves were unaware as to how diseases spread throughout the facilities (“19th century doctors“, 2009).
      As physicians learned more about the human body, diseases, and effective treatments, the cost of their services increased.   During the 18th and 19th centuries, doctors would trade services for items such as grain or livestock as forms of payment.   During this time in history, doctors were tradesmen, and at the time patients had to pay...