IP-4-93 (February 1993)
Author: Francis M. Miller
Srategic Overview Needed
Close observers have been urging reform of America’s health care system for at least a decade. But it was not until last year’s presidential election that the political community finally responded and through their campaigning, made health care a serious issue in the minds of the public.
The social and economic effects we are now seeing in the health system are the result of 20 years of health care costs growing three times faster than inflation. Making it worse is the adverse impact of cost shifting from DRG reimbursement and managed care contract discounting.
And while medical cost themselves are increasing at 10% to 15% a year, health insurance premiums are increasing by 25% to 40%. It’s become virtually impossible for individuals and small groups to purchase health insurance. This has left nearly 37 million people underinsured and at risk in a health care system that, even with insurance, tends to dispossess people of their savings when they become seriously ill. This issue paper presents an overview of various dimensions of health care problem and recommends some short term and long term solutions. Subsequent papers will explore these issues in depth and provide greater data…