Professor Michele Burka
A History and Evaluation
The Economics of it All
The American health care system struggles with availing itself affordably to the average American consumer, however through the use of basic economic principles such as supply and demand, price elasticity/inelasticity, micro and macroeconomics, and the evaluation of the United States current numbers for the Gross Domestic Product the cost effectiveness of the system can be evaluated to afford the reader a better understanding. American consumers work hard for the money they respectively earn; whether they are walking dogs, cleaning pools, or are the CFO of a Fortune 500 company the feeling of pride each receive from a job well done is equal.
Macro vs. Micro
The science behind the economy as a whole is known as macroeconomic. The Gross Domestic Product, labor in the country, and inflation are considered when evaluating macroeconomics. Relating the effects of each with patterns in the country’s economic growth in order to develop theories, and emerging trends (Dranove, 2003).
However, microeconomics is a study of the science of economics on a much smaller scale (Dranove, 2003). When a consumer spends hard-earned money on a good or service the consumer is deciding that the said good or service is more important than that money; this is microeconomics. This is the evaluation of individual choices and how those choices affect the economy. Both sub-sciences affect the understanding of health care as a whole. The choices a consumer makes, and the services he or she chooses are considerations to both.
America has struggled long and hard with the social concerns of its people, especially, health concerns for those on every level of socioeconomic status; however, with a deep deficit that is steadily growing deeper, the rising cost of health care has made many pauses. At one time, America comparatively stood abreast to its peers for high economic growth, and low consumer health issues; America can no longer boast this privilege. With America now, an estimated 7 trillion in debt and with economic forecasting showing another two trillion in the next ten years the prospects of this number decreasing is very slight (Dranove, 2003).
American Gross Domestic Product (GDP) According to Apollo Group, Inc. (2010), the GDP consists of all market value for total services as well as goods within a specified amount of time or period (Milton, 2010). The Current United States GDP has almost 17% spent every year just on health care alone; that is a whopping $1,530,000,000,000 on something that for all intents and purposes did not exist one hundred years ago. To put this into perspective, manufacturing, agriculture, and merchandising businesses are centuries old, yet do not have a growth rate proportional to this one consumer service. America now faces a divide of its people due to traditional attitudes and the even more traditional empty pockets from its lower income individuals and families; throughout this strong county’s history affordable and available health services have caused poverty/middle class Americans distress, and caused upper class and affluent Americans hardly a second thought.
Health Care, America, and Evolution
At the turn of the 20th Century, health insurance was unheard of; mainly because it had yet to be created. Doctors still made house calls, babies were born at home, and a bartered good or service could potentially pay the bill of any medical good or service provided. My how times have changed!
Through the earliest parts of the 1900’s, nothing really changed in the way in which health care was received or paid for. In the 1910’s a simplified idea of health insurance is organized by the American Association for Labor Legislation (AALL) (Milton, 2010). America at this time is becoming a cleaner more sanitized health system with the increase of almost 62,000 physicians (original