The United States spends twice per capita what other major industrialized countries spend on health care, with $1 of every $5 of national income going toward health care and spending expected to reach $4.2 trillion in 2016, or 20 percent of the GDP. At the same time, the United States was ranked last in preventable mortality among developed nations, just below Ireland and Portugal, with 47 million Americans lacking health
insurance, according to the Commonwealth Fund's analysis of World Health Organization data.
While many states are endeavoring to reform health care for its citizens with independent legislation and funds, others have proposed overhauling the system at the national level, suggesting universal health coverage. Government spending accounts for a growing portion of the medical economy, reaching 46 percent in 2006 as Medicare Part D's coverage of prescription drugs took effect. Some contend that managed care helps control costs, but many patients and doctors say it has hurt quality of care.
The following resources provide information on the challenges of health care reform:
General Health Care Resources
Public Agenda: Health Care This nonpartisan, nonprofit public opinion research and citizen education organization provides an overview of the issues, recent articles, resources and public opinion data.
Government Health Care Resources
Medicaid Official Web site detailing the government's Medicaid program, which helps provide health care to certain low-income individuals and families.
Medicare Official Web site detailing the government's Medicare program, which helps provide health care to people age 65 or older, in addition to some disabled and sick people under age 65.
The White House on health care Position of White House on health care-related topics, including reports, legislation and events that the president and administration are involved in.
Urban Institute's Health Policy Center Nonpartisan, independent research organization that analyzes trends and underlying causes of changes in health insurance coverage, access to care and use of health care services by the entire U.S. population.