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Enormous cost in the healthcare system by Elizabeth Morales

The American healthcare system is plagued with high costs and poor quality of care. Despite spending more than any other high-income nation in healthcare, the US ranks poorly in important health aspects such as life expectancy, preventable hospitalizations, suicide, and maternal mortality. Moreover, people in the US are often dissatisfied with the current healthcare system. 


The financial burden is also a major concern. With high costs and a large number of uninsured or underinsured people, many are at risk of going bankrupt if they suffer from serious illnesses. Healthcare prices vary widely, and it's nearly impossible to find other quality healthcare options . Even when you ask questions beforehand and stick with doctors in your insurance network, you may still receive a very large  bill to pay. An example of this is after a surgery, even though a hospital and surgeon can be written in the insurance network, the anesthesiologist may not be. 


The high cost of medical care in the U.S. affects everything from the economy to individual behavior. David Cutler, a professor at Harvard, identified three driving forces behind it and possible solutions: Administrative expenses,  price gouging, and higher utilization of costly medical technology.


References 

1. Shmerling, Robert H., MD. “Is Our Healthcare System Broken?” Harvard Health, 13 July 2021, www.health.harvard.edu/blog/is-our-healthcare-system-broken-202107132542.

2. “Understanding Why Health Care Costs in the U.S. Are so High.” News, 6 May 2020, www.hsph.harvard.edu/news/hsph-in-the-news/understanding-why-health-care-costs-in-t he-u-s-are-so-high.

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