While the National Health Service still has the biggest share of the healthcare services in
This comes as the British government is considering tax reforms that would see young British workers contribute to a new social security initiative benefiting the nation’s elderly. Following on from this comes the fact that a growing number of young professionals in the
Younger people in the
According to the Association of British Insurers (ABI) more companies than ever before are taking out private medical insurance in a bid to offer competitive benefits packages to prospective employees, and if the national service was all that it is cracked up to be, then this would not be a serious issue.
However, the fact that BUPA, the
In addition to the NHS’ bureaucracy there is a serious lack in qualified medical professionals, such as nurses, large amounts of overcrowding, poorly maintained treatment facilities and a virtual mountain to climb for treatment access. Is it any wonder that more and more individuals are choosing to go private over this public behemoth? And the situation won’t improve for the NHS, especially if a proposed imitative to give tax credit to organizations that provide private medical coverage to their employees goes through; a proposal remarkably similar to one made by Representative Ron Paul in the
And all of this comes at the same time as politicians on the other side of the
There are no hard and fast answers when considering health. However the trends in recent years, especially in countries like the
According to a recent New York Times article, America has an estimated 48 million uninsured citizens and this number may soon increase due to the economic downturn being felt across the country right now. Not only is this downturn pushing people out of being insured, but it is also dramatically affecting the insured population.
An increasing reality for many of the 158 million citizens that are insured through their employers is that medical costs are becoming unaffordable. Rising prices for food and gasoline are making many Americans think twice about their spending on health care. From another perspective, rising insurance premiums, narrower coverage, and bigger deductible and co-pay requirements are pushing health care prices through the roof. It follows that many insured Americans are not financially prepared for the costs of emergency room visits and necessary surgeries. They are choosing to pay for food and gasoline over necessary doctor visits.
According to consulting and accounting firm Deloitte, nearly one fifth of the average household’s spending goes to health care. Since 2001, health care premiums for families have risen to $3,300 from $1,800 while incomes have not increased enough to cover this change. Another survey by Deloitte points out that less than 10% of American feel they are financially prepared for their future health care needs.
Employers are also feeling the effects of a soft economy. Expenses for health care are skyrocketing and as a result, many employers are passing on these increased costs to their employees. Many have begun pushing for consumer-driven plans where lower premiums come in the form of higher annual deductibles. According to the New York Times article, nearly 6 million Americans are now enrolled in such plans.
With Presidential Elections coming later this year, it should be very interesting to see what remedies each candidate puts for and how the nation responds.