The Rising Cost of Health Care

The Lane Report has an article titled “The Seven Factors Driving Health Care Cost. ” (Click the title for a link to the article.) Since it was from the Lane Report my assumption was that the seven factors were 1 – 6. Obamacare 7. Medical Malpractice costs. But I was wrong, except for the last item.

According to the article the seven factors are:

1. Paying doctors per treatment and not for health outcomes.

2. A population that is growing older and fatter.

3.  Desire for the newest drugs and treatments.

4. Tax breaks for health insurance, which encourages companies to provide insurance with low deductibles and co-pays for a bigger tax write down, but which allows employees to over-use health care.

5. Poorly informed consumers.

6. Hospital consolidation.

7. Legal issues, like medical malpractice fears and costs, but also fraudulent billing and other issues.

The full report was prepared by the Kaiser Family Foundation and PBS News Hour. It is available here.

The cost of the two main government medical programs, Medicare and Medicaid, are rising at unsustainable rates. We, as a nation, will not get those costs under control until we get the rising costs of health care under control. That is no easy task, but it will only be done by addressing all of the causes, and not simply blaming it on one cause among many.

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