Healthcare

By: EconomyWatch   Date: 22 December 2010

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Healthcare in United States of America is offered by a number of legally recognized entities. More amount is spent in USA on healthcare than anywhere else in the world in terms of per-capita statistics and Gross Domestic Product.

Healthcare Expenses in USA
As per the National Health Expenditure Data: NHE Fact Sheet, the healthcare expenses in USA account for 16% of the Gross Domestic Product. It has been predicted that the percentage would reach 19.5% mark by 2017. During 2007, projected healthcare expenses of USA were $2.26 trillion. This was equivalent of $7,439 for every individual in USA. The per capita spending of US federal government in healthcare has led it to be placed in the top ten list 2004. This list comprises only of members of United Nations.

Healthcare System in USA
As per the Institute of Medicine of National Academy of Sciences USA is the sole economically advanced nation to not have a universal healthcare system in place.

US Health Insurance Scenario
84% of people in USA have a certain type of health insurance schemes. 60% of these people have availed insurance services through employers and 9% of these people have bought the policies on their own. 27% of these people are provided with health insurance schemes by the governmental bodies. During 2006 the amount of people without any health insurance accounted for 16% of total US population.

Publicly Funded Healthcare Programs
Publicly funded healthcare programs are important in the context of US healthcare as they provide healthcare services to some patient categories, which are critical. Those patient groups may be mentioned as below:
  • Elderly
  • Veterans
  • Disabled
  • Poor
  • Children

US federal law also makes access of public to emergency services mandatory, irrespective of their ability to pay the expenses back.

Healthcare Providers in USA
Following are the main healthcare providers in USA:

  • Medicare
  • Indian Health Service
  • Medicaid
  • State Children's Health Insurance Program
  • TRICARE
  • EMTALA
  • Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan

Performance of US Healthcare
Over the years healthcare system in USA has been highly rated for its efficiency and quality. The fact that, as per CIA Factbook, USA has the 41st lowest infant mortality rate is an indicator of the excellent performance of US healthcare system. World Health Organization has also ranked US healthcare system first, in 2000, in terms of expenditure and responsiveness in the healthcare section.

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