A Call to Be Whole: The Fundamentals of Health Care Reform

By Barbara J. Sowada | Go to book overview
Save to active project

CHAPTER 1
Heartburn

First do no harm.

—Hippocratic Oath

[What's wrong with health care?] Chances are, most Americans would say health care costs too much, that they are spending more and getting less. Health care is expensive and gets ever more expensive. Costs have risen from 5.3 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP) in 1960 to roughly 14 percent in 2000. Health care is now a $1.3 trillion industry, consuming about one-sixth of the U.S. economy. Of the $1.3 trillion, about 45 percent comes from taxes, 34 percent from insurance premiums, and 15 percent directly from patients' pockets. Health care costs the average household $8,000 annually, according to C. E. Steuerle of the Urban Institute.1

Americans have reason to worry that health care will be priced out of reach. All too often, those with health insurance lose their coverage through no fault of their own, becoming part of the 20 percent, or 43 million, without health insurance—a number that has grown by a million persons annually since the early 1980s. The elderly worry about the price of prescription drugs; low wage earners can't afford health insurance coverage for their children; some people with insurance can't afford the copayments and deductibles. Still others are forced into bankruptcy by uncovered medical bills. Disastrous medical bills account for about 40 percent of the bankruptcies filed in 1999.2

Access and quality are also concerns. The media is full of stories about disappearing services and denied benefits. It seems that most of the public knows someone personally who was turned away by a doctor, a hospi

-1-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
A Call to Be Whole: The Fundamentals of Health Care Reform
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 224

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?