While sitting back in her blue jeans and wearing a heavy workout sweater at the Legacy Emanuel Hospital’s Emergency room, Angela Jones has her feet prompted up and crossed atop of a small table. When asked about health care issues and how they affect her, Angela explains that there is a portion of people who suffer from not having health care insurance. She makes it clear that some of those who suffer most are young people. Jones, who is a college student, declared her passion for the young because it falls under her own age group.
Says Jones, “The Oregon Health Plan should be open to more people who are under 21 years old. Private insurance shouldn’t be so expensive for young people. ”
According to national surveys, the primary reason people are uninsured is the high cost of health insurance coverage. Notwithstanding, nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of the uninsured reported changing their way of life significantly in order to pay medical bills. Economists have discovered that increasing health care costs correlate to drops in health insurance coverage.
Jones believes that some of the greatest challenges that people face across this nation is obtaining affordable health care. “I would open an Oregon Health Plan to a variety of people who don’t have insurance. It is hard to get health insurance. ”
Terri Heer, a registered nurse at a local hospital, claims that in order to improve America’s health care system a key ingredient is to “make sure that everyone (has) access. ”
This would include cutting out on expenses that are not palpable to so called “health care needs”. Heer says, “First, we spend a lot of money servicing people for illnesses that can be prevented. Some of the money spent can go to other things. ”
Over the long haul, should the nations health care system undergo significant changes, the typical patient may not necessarily see the improvements firsthand. “I would love to say there will be a lot of changes. I am not a pessimist, but I don’t think there will be any change, ” says Heer. Heer does allude to the fact that if more money were spent for people in the health care arena, she says that there is a possibility that the necessary changes would be more evident.
Whether health care is affordable or not is an issue that affects everyone. According to a recent study last year, health care spending in the United States reached $2. 3 trillion, and is projected to reach $3 trillion by 2011. By 2016, it is projected to reach $4. 2 trillion. Although it is estimated that nearly 47 million Americans are uninsured, the U. S. spends more on health care than any other nation.
The rising tide of health care stems from several factors that has an affect on us all. First, there is an intensity of services in the U. S. health care system that has undergone a dramatic change when you consider that people are living longer coupled with greater chronic illnesses.
Secondly, prescription drugs and technology have gone through significant changes. The fact that major drugs and technological advancement has been a contributing factor for the increase in health care spending. Some analysts suggest that the improvement of state-of-art technologies and drugs increase health care spending. This increase not only attributes to the high-tech inventions, but also because consumer demand for these products has gone through the roof, so to speak.
Thirdly, there is an aging of the population. Since the baby boomers have reached their middle years, there is a tremendous need to take care of them. This trend will continue as baby boomers will qualify for more Medicare in 2011.
Lastly, there is the factor of administrative costs. Some would argue that the private sector plays a critical role in the rise of health care costs and the economic increase they produce in overhead costs. At the same time, 7 percent of health care expenses are a result of administrative costs. This would include aspects of billing and marketing.
Terra Lincoln is a woman who was found waiting in the Emergency room at the Providence Portland Medical Center. When asked about the rising costs of health care, she said, “If you don’t have medical coverage, it’ll cost you too much money. If I leave the hospital right now and I need to buy two (types) of medicines, I couldn’t afford it. ” Lincoln says that she is a member of the OHP, but she believes that there are still issues that need to be addressed.