Eastern Kentucky University

Poster Title

Is It Time To Control The Rising Health Care Cost?

Institution

Eastern Kentucky University

Abstract

The United States spends more on health care than on Social Security and national defense combined. In 2007, the US spent $6,714 per capita on health care while Canada spent $3,678 per capita. In 2004, the amount spent on health care in the US was less than half of what it was in 2007. For Canada, health care costs rose by over one third from 2004 to 2007 (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2008). In Canada, health insurance consists of a single payer system, while the US uses a combination of private insurance and public insurance. Life expectancy in Canada is higher and infant mortality is lower than in the US (Bell, 2007). Medications are 35-40% cheaper in Canada compared to the cost in the US. In addition, the US has laws that extend the higher price of brand name medications by five years. In 2005, Schoen at el found that about 20% of Canadians and 40% of Americans did not fill a prescription because of the cost. There is a significant need to manage health care costs in both countries, especially in the US. Improving the access of primary preventive care, educating the public about healthy life style, reducing violent crime, and controlling illegal immigration may help reduce health care cost for both countries. Appropriate policy development for managing medication costs, especially in the US, would significantly reduce drug costs and health disparities for Americans.

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Is It Time To Control The Rising Health Care Cost?

The United States spends more on health care than on Social Security and national defense combined. In 2007, the US spent $6,714 per capita on health care while Canada spent $3,678 per capita. In 2004, the amount spent on health care in the US was less than half of what it was in 2007. For Canada, health care costs rose by over one third from 2004 to 2007 (Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development, 2008). In Canada, health insurance consists of a single payer system, while the US uses a combination of private insurance and public insurance. Life expectancy in Canada is higher and infant mortality is lower than in the US (Bell, 2007). Medications are 35-40% cheaper in Canada compared to the cost in the US. In addition, the US has laws that extend the higher price of brand name medications by five years. In 2005, Schoen at el found that about 20% of Canadians and 40% of Americans did not fill a prescription because of the cost. There is a significant need to manage health care costs in both countries, especially in the US. Improving the access of primary preventive care, educating the public about healthy life style, reducing violent crime, and controlling illegal immigration may help reduce health care cost for both countries. Appropriate policy development for managing medication costs, especially in the US, would significantly reduce drug costs and health disparities for Americans.