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The High Costs of Health Care

Any one concerned about the rising costs of health care should read the editorial in today's New York Times, entitled, The High Cost of Health Care.

As the Times points out, the solutions are not easy but these costs are destroying families and placing unacceptable burdens upon society.  As a nation we must confront these issues and work toward a reasonable solution.  We cannot let big business or insurance companies control this debate.  We must make sure that quality care is delivered to all at reasonable prices.  A health care system that only works for the rich and for big business and insurance companies must be changed and changed now!

The implications of these high costs are most acute for those with a family member suffering with brain damage.  It is important that we join this debate and make our opinions heard.

Here is a sampling of the New York Times editorial:

"The relentless, decades-long rise in the cost of health care has left many Americans struggling to pay their medical bills. Workers complain that they cannot afford high premiums for health insurance. Patients forgo recommended care rather than pay the out-of-pocket costs. Employers are cutting back or eliminating health benefits, forcing millions more people into the ranks of the uninsured. And state and federal governments strain to meet the expanding costs of public programs like Medicaid and Medicare.

Health care costs are far higher in the United States than in any other advanced nation, whether measured in total dollars spent, as a percentage of the economy, or on a per capita basis. And health costs here have been rising significantly faster than the overall economy or personal incomes for more than 40 years, a trend that cannot continue forever.

It is the worst long-term fiscal crisis facing the nation, and it demands a solution, but finding one will not be easy or palatable.

Contrary to popular beliefs, this is not a problem driven mainly by the aging of the baby boom generation, or the high cost of prescription drugs, or medical malpractice litigation that spawns defensive medicine. Those issues often dominate political discourse, but they have played relatively minor roles in driving up medical spending in this country and abroad. The major causes are much more deep-seated and far harder to root out."

To read the full editorial and the solutions proposed by the Times, click here.

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