The healthcare system of the US can be regarded as unique since it was changed from the national to the private type, while the programs of the government cover only vulnerable populations. In the course of its evolution, the system reconsidered the policies regarding elderly and unemployed people, giving them more opportunities for accessing the required care services.
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For example, the Social Security Amendments of 1965 or the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 can be noted among those initiatives that significantly changed the US healthcare (Shi & Singh, 2014). Different types of insurance were implemented over the recent decades, including managed care and fee-for-service. With time, the involvement of the government in this area increases, and critical problems health problems and chronic diseases were declared as of national importance.
The economics and medical expenditure received more attention from the authorities: in 2014, the government covered 43% of healthcare costs (Chen, Filardo, He, & Zhu, F2016). The steady yet consistent growth is a characteristic feature of medical expenditures. From 1970 to 2017, the total health expenditures raised from $ 74.6 billion to $ 3.5 trillion annually, which is also associated with the development of care services and technology (Kamal & Cox, 2018). In a historic perspective, the growth of healthcare spending outpaced that of the US economy. While it took 7% of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 1970, this indicator reached 18% in 2017 (Dieleman et al., 2016).
The overall financial challenges that were at peak the last ten years tend to decrease, including hospital, prescriptions, and physician spending, which represent a half of the total costs. Thus, it becomes evident that despite the efforts of the government to ensure proper care services at an affordable price, there is a need to reinvent the system of the US healthcare to make it more cost-effective and accessible for all people.
Chen, Q., Filardo, A., He, D., & Zhu, F. (2016). Financial crisis, US unconventional monetary policy and international spillovers. Journal of International Money and Finance, 67, 62-81.
Dieleman, J. L., Baral, R., Birger, M., Bui, A. L., Bulchis, A., Chapin, A.,… Lavado, R. (2016). US spending on personal health care and public health, 1996-2013. JAMA, 316(24), 2627-2646.
Kamal, R., & Cox, S. (2018). How has U.S. spending on healthcare changed over time? Web.
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Shi, L., & Singh, D. A. (2014). Delivering health care in America (6th ed.). New York, NY: Jones & Bartlett Learning.