Among the world’s top developed nations, the United States ranks first in health care expenditures as a percentage of GDP. Unfortunately, this high rate of spending has not produced the desired outcomes, but rather has left the United States trailing the majority of its economic contemporaries when comparing heathcare outcomes. A Kaiser Family Foundation Study ranks the United States 47th in infant mortality, and 50th in life expectancy, far below expectations.
These statistics, analyzed in combination with the extensive research that is currently available, indicate that there is substantial room for improvement in our nation's healthcare system. Moreover, it may be inferred from the available literature that our struggles are due to a significant waste of the limited resources in our healthcare system. Scholars have attempted to address the inadequacies of our system by investigating its major inefficiencies. From their work we can identify a couple of major factors. First, a lack of preventative care leads to increased usage of our emergency departments, which provide basic preventative care at extraordinary costs. Additionally, poor continuity of care leaves our medical professionals handcuffed and requires them to preform duplicate procedures to adequately treat their patients. These duplicate procedures are both extermely wasteful and add unnecessary costs into the system.
Both of these deficiencies and several others were addressed in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act aka Obamacare, that was signed into law in March 2010. The contents of this massive overhaul are unfortunately still unknown to many Americans. As a result, many of our elected officials are using the ACA to push their political agendas. Over the next few weeks a comprehensive analysis of the main features of the Affordable Care Act will be found here, and your comments and suggestions are encouraged.