Rising Health Care Costs: An Examination of Their Causes and Methods for Their Containment
Kassab, Frederick D.
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Medical knowledge has been broadened at an incredible rate to encompass areas of human physiology of which our forefathers had never had the slightest inkling. For ourselves and future generations, life expectancies will continue to lengthen, and lethal diseases of yesterday and today will only exist as history due to such advancements in medical ingenuity and technology. However, one fact remains unchanged to this day, as it did one hundred years ago and as it will a century from now. Along with this surge of medical know-how; coupled to these increases in new technological improvements and discoveries; inseparable from the ever-growing labor force and degree of education necessary to understand and maintain control on this upward and outward course of knowledge and skills, is a parallel swelling of medical costs. At first glance, however, the cost increases associated with medical care appear astronomical, as compared with the actual increases in the services and quality of the care. This paper attempts to define medical care cost increases and their causes, and examine several programs--defunct, actual and proposed--which are aimed at controlling the upward spiral of health care costs.