The Increasing Surge of Health Care

While sitting back in her blue jeans and wearing a heavy workout sweater at the Legacy Emanuel Hospital’s emergency room, Angela Jones had her feet prompted and crossed atop a small table. When asked about health care issues and how they affect her, Angela explains that many people suffer from not having health care insurance. She clarifies that some of those who suffer most are young people. A college student, Jones declared her passion for the young because it falls under her age group.

Health Care

Says Jones, “The Oregon Health Plan should be open to more people under 21. Private insurance shouldn’t be so expensive for young people.” According to national surveys, people are uninsured primarily because of the high cost of health insurance coverage. Notwithstanding, nearly one-quarter (23 percent) of the uninsured reported changing their way of life significantly to pay medical bills. Economists have discovered that increasing healthcare costs correlate to drops in health insurance coverage.

Jones believes that obtaining affordable health care is one of the greatest challenges people face nationwide. “I would open an Oregon Health Plan to a variety of people who don’t have insurance. It is hard to get health insurance.” Terri Heer, a registered nurse at a local hospital, claims that to improve America’s healthcare system, a key ingredient is to “make sure that everyone (has) access.” This would include cutting out on expenses unrelated to “health care needs.” Heer says, “First, we spend much money servicing people for illnesses that can be prevented. Some of the money spent can go to other things.”

Over the long haul, should the nation’s healthcare system undergo significant changes, the typical patient may not necessarily see the improvements firsthand. “I would love to say there will be a lot of changes. I am not a pessimist, but I don’t think there will be any change,” says Heer. Heer does allude to the fact that if more money were spent on people in the healthcare arena, she says that there is a possibility that the necessary changes would be more evident.

Whether health care is affordable or not affects everyone. According to a recent study, healthcare spending in the United States reached $2.3 trillion last year and is projected to reach $3 trillion by 2011. By 2016, it is projected to reach $4.2 trillion. Although it is estimated that nearly 47 million Americans are uninsured, the U.S. spends more on health care than any other nation.


The rising tide of health care stems from several factors that affect us all. First, the intensity of services in the U.S. health care system has undergone a dramatic change, considering that people live longer coupled with greater chronic illnesses.

Secondly, prescription drugs and technology have gone through significant changes. Major medicines and technological advancements have contributed to increased healthcare spending. Some analysts suggest that improving state-of-art technologies and drugs increases healthcare spending. This increase is attributed to the high-tech inventions because consumer demand for these products has gone through the roof.

Thirdly, there is an aging population. Since the baby boomers have reached their middle years, there is a tremendous need to care for them. This trend will continue as baby boomers qualify for more Medicare in 2011.

Lastly, there is the factor of administrative costs. Some would argue that the private sector plays a critical role in the rise of healthcare costs and the economic increase they produce in overhead costs. At the same time, 7 percent of healthcare expenses result from administrative costs, which include aspects of billing and marketing.

Terra Lincoln was found waiting in the Emergency room at Providence Portland Medical Center. When asked about the rising healthcare costs, she said, “If you don’t have medical coverage, it’ll cost you too much money. If I leave the hospital right now and I need to buy two (types) of medicines, I couldn’t afford it.” Lincoln says she is a member of the OHP but believes that issues still need to be addressed.

Terra recognizes that to reduce medical costs, she would have to start by getting regular checkups. “Sometimes people of color wait till they’re in pain before they get a checkup,” she said.

A national survey shows that the primary reason people cannot afford health care is the soaring health care coverage costs. A recent Wall Street Journal-NBC survey reported that 50% of the American public claims that their deepest and most significant economic concern is health care. Consequently, the rising cost of health care is the number one concern for Democratic voters.

Regarding the rising tide of health care, Kristin Venderbush, a native of Wisconsin and another patient in the emergency at Providence, says, “I worry a lot about what happens to the working poor. They don’t have OHP. If you can’t advocate for yourself, you will not get the health care you need…on every level.”

Harvard University researchers recently discovered that the out-of-pocket medical debt for an average consumer who filed for bankruptcy was $12,000. This study noted that 68 percent of those who had filed for bankruptcy carried health insurance. These bankruptcy cases resulted from medical expenses. This study also pointed out that every 30 seconds, someone files for bankruptcy after having some serious health problem.

Despite all the social and economic bureaucracy in the healthcare arena, some changes were made in Washington on January 28, 2008. In his State of the Union address, President Bush asked Congress to eliminate the unfair bias of the tax code against people who do not get their health care from their employer. Millions would then have more options that were not previously available, and health care would be more accessible for people who could not afford it.

Consequently, the President believes that the Federal government can make health care more affordable and available for those who need it most. Some sources suggest that the President wants health care to be available for people and patients and their private physicians to be free to make choices. One of the main purposes of the healthcare agenda is to ensure that consumers will have the freedom to make choices and enable those to make decisions that will best meet their healthcare needs.

Kerry Weems, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Acting Administrator, oversees the State Children’s Health Insurance Program, SCHIP. This critical program pays for the health care of more than six million children who come from homes that cannot afford adequate health insurance. These homes exceed the pay scale for Medicaid programs and, therefore, cannot participate.

During SCHIP’s ten-year span, states have used the program to assist families with low-income and uninsured children in improving their well-being in health care. The Bush Administration believes that conditions should make more effort to provide for the neediest children and enable them to get insurance immediately. The SCHIP was originally intended to cover children with family incomes ranging from $20,650. This amount would typically include a family of four. According to sources, all states throughout the U.S. have SCHIP programs in place, and just over six million children are served.


Alcohol scholar. Bacon fan. Internetaholic. Beer geek. Thinker. Coffee advocate. Reader. Have a strong interest in consulting about teddy bears in Nigeria. Spent 2001-2004 promoting glue in Pensacola, FL. My current pet project is testing the market for salsa in Las Vegas, NV. In 2008 I was getting to know birdhouses worldwide. Spent 2002-2008 buying and selling easy-bake-ovens in Bethesda, MD. Spent 2002-2009 marketing country music in the financial sector.