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Pain Physician. 2009 Mar-Apr;12(2):289-304.

Obama health care for all Americans: practical implications.

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1
Pain Management Center of Paducah, Paducah, KY 42003, USA. drlm@thepainmd.com

Abstract

Rapidly rising health care costs over the decades have prompted the application of business practices to medicine with goals of improving the efficiency, restraining expenses, and increasing quality. Average health insurance premiums and individual contributions for family coverage have increased approximately 120% from 1999 to 2008. Health care spending in the United States is stated to exceed 4 times the national defense, despite the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. The U.S. health care system has been blamed for inefficiencies, excessive administrative expenses, inflated prices, inappropriate waste, and fraud and abuse. While many people lack health insurance, others who do have health insurance allegedly receive care ranging from superb to inexcusable. In criticism of health care in the United States and the focus on savings, methodologists, policy makers, and the public in general seem to ignore the major disadvantages of other global health care systems and the previous experiences of the United States to reform health care. Health care reform is back with the Obama administration with great expectations. It is also believed that for the first time since 1993, momentum is building for policies that would move the United States towards universal health insurance. President Obama has made health care a central part of his domestic agenda, with spending and investments in Children's Health Insurance Program (CHIP), American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, and proposed 2010 budget. It is the consensus now that since we have a fiscal emergency, Washington is willing to deal with the health care crisis. Many of the groups long opposed to reform, appear to be coming together to accept a major health care reform. Reducing costs is always at the center of any health care debate in the United States. These have been focused on waste, fraud, and abuse; administrative costs; improving the quality with health technology information dissemination; and excessive regulations on the health care industry in the United States. Down payment on health care reform, American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and CHIP include many provisions to reach towards universal health care.

PMID:
19305481
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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