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Reducing Healthcare Cost by Improving Health

Introduction

Since the failure of the Clinton administration’s healthcare reforms in the early 1990s, political leaders in the US have always sidelined the idea of legally proposing effective measures of controlling the cost of health care both at the federal and state levels. However, the escalating cost of healthcare management prompted the Obama regime to indulge in this issue by proposing advanced measures to be observed by medical officers to cut the cost of Medicare. His ideas included, altering the constitution of medical insurance and its policies, and developing medical strategies and health products (Marmor, Oberlander & White, 2009). Below is a debate on whether the Obama administration was right to carry out extensive changes to the Medicare plans to reduce healthcare costs, and whether it was right to cut the healthcare cost by improving the citizens’ health and elongating their lives.

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Limiting expensive cure modes and extensive changes do not cut Medicare costs

The extensive medical charges and limiting expensive modes of treatment cannot significantly assist in the reduction of Medicare costs especially in the United States of America. Frank et al (2005) advise that the attempts of limiting spending and restricting prices to manage healthcare costs in a country are almost unfeasible politically. Therefore, it would arguably lead to medical improvements especially by the pharmaceutical sector, in turn leading to increased expenditure limitations on their sources of income thereby causing political mayhem.

Limiting treatment costs for some chronic diseases that require surgical treatment, for instance, organ transplantations and neurosurgery, to reduce the healthcare costs, is a proposal that does not hold at all since, these modes of treatment involves the use of highly sophisticated technological instruments and machines that are mostly unrecyclable hence, cannot be conducted at lower costs. It has been established that cutting the treatment costs directly lowers the rates of medical advancements and the targeted enforcement efforts (Marmor, Oberlander & White, 2009). Moreover, the processes of instituting personal health information technology and electronic health records are costly and cannot be achieved by reducing medical extensive charges.

Improving health and elongating life reduces citizens’ healthcare costs

Health-care cost reduction can be achieved by lengthening the citizens’ lives and improving their health. However, it should be noted that these measures, when overemphasized, could lead to a rise in the cost of managing Medicare (Russell, 2007). The Obama administration is justified to control chronic diseases like HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, and polio, in the attempt of trying to cut the healthcare cost in the United States (Marmor, Oberlander & White, 2009). This is because; these chronic diseases have a tendency of attacking and killing a larger number of people thereby reducing the country’s economy. Therefore, it puts emphasis on the individual’s behavioral change to be able to fight these chronic diseases, for instance, citizens are advised to exercise their bodies more often to avoid suffering from obesity, and they are warned to avoid practicing sex without condoms to reduce their chances of contracting the HIV. These behavioral changes are aimed at lowering the individual’s healthcare cost.

The processes involved in improving one’s health to minimize their Medicare cost includes avoiding the usage of drugs and alcoholism, provision of proper hygiene, consumption of food with the observation of proper dietary rules to avoid malnutrition and other diseases rising from nutrients’ deficiency in the body, and restructuring the insurance policies to fit even the poor citizens of the country. When well-executed, these plans can drastically reduce the healthcare costs of a given country.

Conclusion

However, it should be noted that the emergence of higher numbers of seniors in the society, is a detrimental phenomenon since it increases the rate of dependency in the country as the aging group has limited powers and will to perform any job satisfactorily. Old age comes with a lot of inabilities, disabilities, and body malfunctions or failure hence; they entirely depend on interventions from other sources to manage their healthcare costs. In as much as clinical effectiveness would reduce their treatment costs, it is good to appreciate that it does not directly lead to healthcare cost saving in the elderly people.

References

Frank, R. G., Rosenthal, M. B., Li, Z., & Epstein, A. M. (2005). Early experience with pay-for-performance: From concept to practice. Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA). 294: 1788-93.

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Marmor, T., Oberlander, J., & White, J. (2009). The Obama administration’s options for health care cost control: hope versus reality. Annals of Internal Medicine. 150: pg. 485-489.

Russell, L. B. (2007). Prevention’s Potential for Slowing the Growth of Medical Spending, National Coalition on Health Care. Washington, DC: Brookings institution Press.

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