Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Healthcare -- 5, 10, 20 Years in the Past and Future

From the article: "Twenty years ago U.S. healthcare cost $2800, on average, per person. Ten years ago, that figure had risen to $4700 per person. And four years ago, in 2008, it was $7500 per person. (From exhibit 4A in this Kaiser Family Foundation Report.) Over the same period, the portion of Americans without insurance has risen. In 1990, 14.1 percent of Americans were uninsured. In 2000, 13.1 percent were uninsured. Today, 16.3% of Americans are uninsured (approximately 50 million people), in part because of job losses and employers cutting back on coverage.

At the same time the number of uninsured has risen, there have been stunning innovations in healthcare. …We’ll need to constantly remind ourselves of the public good when it comes to healthcare innovation… all innovation, really. As I look down the road 5, 10, 20 years, I see healthcare becoming bifurcated between not only today’s haves and have-nots, but between people who can afford more expensive advanced technologies and life-saving approaches. …I’m afraid that as technological innovation accelerates, we will see not a diminishment of health disparities, but an increase."
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