|International: Health Care|
The overall world health expenditures by percentage of the Country's Gross Domestic Product as of 2005.
Proposed Means of Paying for Health Care Reform
Published Wednesday, May 27th, 2009
The Senate Finance Committee has issued a 40 page report on options to pay for health care reform measures and coverage for the nearly 50 million who are uninsured. Among these options, cutting cost is the most popular for the long run, yet in the short term, some are proposing taxes as a way to raise the necessary funding and trigger cost-saving lifestyle changes. For example, a soda tax will target drinks with high caloric sweeteners; diet drinks will be exempt. Another proposal would put a federal tax on alcoholic drinks. The proposal also suggests that health insurance benefits for those who make over $200,000 as individuals and $400,000 as a couple be taxed. Plus, for upper income seniors, they will be charged more for their Medicare drug plans.
Public and private health care spending has risen relatively in parallel, with a fluctuating gap between the two since 1977 and a present gap of $108 billion. The annual pace at which both have climbed is mirrored by the average annual expenditures per consumer for out-of-pocket health care in a year, which is calculated at nearly $3000 in 2007. Currently, the pressures of those expenditures have caused many to be uninsured, to fall on government health care rolls, or worse yet to go into foreclosure or bankruptcy. When compared to other countries, America spends more on health care as a percentage of GDP and yet has one of the highest rates of uninsured.
The World Health Organization Calls for Reform
Published Monday, January 12th, 2009
The World Health Organization has issued the World Health Care Report for 2008, renewing calls for Primary Health Care reform. The report stated that globalization has put a strain on health care systems. Universal coverage, service delivery, public policy, and leadership reforms are all areas the World Health Organization wants to improve upon in the next decade. The trends in health care specialization, short term disease control, and laissez-faire governance has allowed inequitable access to proper health care systems around the world, the report observed.
According the the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, the US spends a total of 15.3% of its Gross Domestic Product on Health Care expenditures annually for both public and private care. The next highest spender is Switzerland at 11.6%. As for Health Care Insurance coverage, the US is the developed world’s third worst after Turkey and Mexico, with 59.2% with private care, 27.3% on the public care, and 13.5% with no health care coverage at all. The US has an infant mortality rate of 6.9 out of 1,000, a few tenths worse than the world’s average, and life expectancy of 77.2, again slightly below average.
World Health Organization's 2008 Report - http://www.who.int/whr/2008/en/index.html
WHO is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters, shaping the health research agenda, setting norms and standards, articulating evidence-based policy options, providing technical support to countries and monitoring and assessing health trends.
US Department of Health and Human Services - https://volunteer.ccrf.hhs.gov/
The Department of Health and Human Services is the United States government's principal agency for protecting the health of all Americans and providing essential human services, especially for those who are least able to help themselves.