Baltimore Sun Examines US Health Care System
The Baltimore Sunon Sunday examined how the lack of progress toward the "goal" ofensuring that all U.S. residents have affordable health coverage "iscausing a slow-motion health care crisis that is already threateningthe well-being of millions." According to the Sun, thereare "an array of reasons" for the recent focus on health care,including the cost of coverage, which is "rising far faster than theoverall rate of inflation"; the costs for employees who are enrolled inemployer-sponsored health plans "are growing while benefits arelimited"; the costs of coping with severe illness "are placing agrowing burden" on employees and their families; and the erosion of theemployer-sponsored health care system.
A growing number ofstate and local governments are developing plans to expand coverage andlower costs, while at the federal level, the debate over expandingSCHIP is an "opening skirmish in what is likely to be an all-out war incoming months and years over how to pay for health care in America,"the Sun reports. In addition, nearly every presidentialcandidate has announced a proposal to control health care costs, expandaccess to care and improve quality. While Democratic lawmakers have"generally been proposing publicly funded alternatives" to expand andimprove the availability of health coverage, their Republicancolleagues have "generally proposed reforms based on moreentrepreneurial concepts," the Sun reports.
Mosthealth care professionals believe that costs could be "substantiallyrestrained with better, more proactive management of care," accordingto the Sun. However, the "challenge" in reforming U.S.health care "is finding ways to provide every American with quality,affordable health care without dictating how the care will be offered"(Williams, Baltimore Sun, 10/28).
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