The American healthcare system is at a critical junction, we all know it is broken and in desperate need of some form of revision. The numbers of uninsured is at record numbers, the numbers of underinsured are growing and the costs for healthcare are skyrocketing. All of the principal stakeholders are under enormous pressure to solve the healthcare problem. Healthcare outcomes in the U.S. are in most categories below average and costs per individual are the highest in the industrial world.
Large employers struggle to be competitive in the world market with the burden of healthcare costs on their shoulders. Smaller employers can’t afford to offer healthcare to their employees and all of us want the widest range of choice in our healthcare providers.
Healthcare has always been a moral and economic issue. Most Americans would agree that all people should have access to quality healthcare, which is the universal part of the equation. It is the economic part that is contentious, how do we control escalating costs and develop a sustainable system that benefits us all.
There are no easy answers to this economic part, but the fact remains that if we don’t solve this portion of the equation we are facing catastrophic consequences. Medicare and Medicaid are facing unsustainable financial problems. Rising healthcare costs are increasingly challenging the general population.
We need a national, state and local dialog on healthcare, we need reliable data on costs associated with healthcare solutions. We need a collaboration of stakeholders to identify the problems and develop solutions. We need to raise the public awareness to the possible solutions, and somehow gain the political will to fix a broken system. No matter how good your personal healthcare situation is you are still on a sinking ship!